Tampa sends 60-year-old raw water pump to be rebuilt

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Florida Construction News staff writer

Tampa Water Department crews removed an extremely large raw-water pump on Wednesday, a step in the ongoing renovations underway to modernize the David L. Tippin Water Treatment Plant in Tampa.

The pump is now 60 years old, and this is a preventative measure to prolong the life of the pump. The largest Hillsborough River water pump has pumped about 550 million gallons of water in its 60 years of service and now it’s being replaced as part of the Tampa‚Äôs Tomorrow Plan to strengthen infrastructure.

Due to the size of the raw-water pump, crews removed it with a special crane and then transported the pump to Southeast Pump in Tampa, where it will be rebuilt. The motor will be rebuilt at Tampa Armitage Works.

This raw-water pump is currently one of nine pumps that pulls up to 80M gallons of water per day out of the Hillsborough River and into our water treatment plant. This specific pump pulls up an average of 25M of water per day. While part of the pump is above ground, the below-ground components extend 30 feet below ground.

Each of the nine pumps currently in operation at water treatment plant will eventually be replaced with five larger pumps of the same style to simplify maintenance and help modernize the plant.

The raw-water pump removed Wednesday will likely be reinstalled in about two weeks. The approximate cost of the rebuild is $50,000. However, exact costs will not be known until the contractors have a chance to inspect the pump and motor.

The Tampa Water Department delivers 82 million gallons of water to about 717,000 people every day. Every year, the Tampa Water Department takes more than 9,000 water samples throughout our service area and conducts more than 40,000 water analyses to ensure that we remain in compliance with federal and state drinking water regulations.

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