The city of Waldo, Fla., is a town of approximately 1,000 residents located in Alachua County in northeast Florida.
Waldo’s wastewater treatment plant discharged its treated wastewater into a wetland area that connects to the Santa Fe River. Because the river is a classified as an Outstanding Florida Water, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection issued a consent order requiring the plant to find a solution to control these discharges.
After negotiations between the cities of Waldo and Gainesville, as well as the Gainesville Regional Utility (GRU) and Alachua County, a solution was reached.
Designer Mittauer & Associates, along with contractors Worth Construction and Watson Construction, worked to build a new pump station and 11.5 miles of 10- and 12-in. force main.
By decommissioning the old wastewater treatment facility, water could be sent directly from Waldo’s wastewater collection system to the GRU plant, eliminating the need for Waldo’s treatment facility.
The project was funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Rural Development loan program and was completed in August 2013.
“I feel this project is a benefit to the city of Waldo because the Waldo connection to Gainesville Regional Utilities meets the current regulatory requirements, and it reduces the risk from further regulations that small town systems cannot afford to implement,” said Kim Worley, city manager for the city of Waldo. “There is also additional capacity for future growth. The design allows the city of Waldo to buy more capacity on an as-needed basis instead of building a much larger plant that has capacity for future growth but is costly to operate.”