The Utility Division is comprised of potable and irrigation water treatment and supply systems as well as a wastewater collection and treatment system. The combined utilities represent a capital investment of approximately $50,000,000.00.
Potable Water System
The potable and irrigation water systems are two completely separate and distinct systems. The DCDD owns and maintains all of the raw water wells, reverse osmosis treatment system, distribution piping, fire hydrants, valves, and meters in the potable system. Equally as important as supplying drinking water, the potable system also provides fire protection throughout the DCDD. In 2004, the DCDD decided to develop its own potable water supply and treatment capabilities independent from the City of Palm Coast which was then supplying our water. This decision was based on continuing water pressure problems, increasing costs, and the strong likelihood that water supply would be used as a lever by Palm Coast to annex the DCDD. Developer funds and a $2,800,000 grant from St. John River Water Management District (SJRWMD) covered the entire cost of the design and construction of the new water treatment plant. This innovative reverse osmosis facility treats raw water pumped to the distribution system. In 2009, the DCDD instituted an overall rate reduction that makes its utility rates among the lowest in the region.
Irrigation Water System
The irrigation distribution system is similar to that of the potable water system except in the commodity it distributes and the color of the components. Because irrigation water is reclaimed from treatment plant effluent and untreated well water, it cannot be mixed or cross-connected with the potable supply. This is the reason for two separate distribution systems. The DEP also requires the use of purple colored pipe, meters and hydrants to distinguish a reclaimed irrigation system. In 1993 ITT, in conjunction with Palm Coast Utilility, developed and implemented the reclaimed irrigation system for the DCDD. Interlocal Agreements with the City of Palm Coast to provide treated effluent and the addition of raw water wells to supplement the irrigation water supply should provide the DCDD with adequate irrigation water for the foreseeable future.
Wastewater Collection and Treatment System
The collection system consists of miles of underground sewers that convey wastewater by gravity to a series of 23 pumping stations. The wastewater is then pumped to a central treatment plant. The treatment facility is an advanced activated sludge process that is followed by a tertiary filtration system. The facility produces a high quality effluent that is used in the irrigation system. The treatment facility will have the capacity to process 800,000 gallons per day of wastewater, which will meet the DCDD’s future requirements. At present, the average flow is only 300,000 gallons per day. The treatment facility also provides tertiary filtration for up to 2,100,000 gallons per day of advanced treated effluent from Palm Coast. This treated effluent is the primary supply for the irrigation system.