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Water-Related News

Second round of repairs to begin at Lake Manatee dam

MANATEE COUNTY — The Lake Manatee dam, a 51-year-old earthen structure that holds back an 1,800-acre drinking water reservoir, will undergo a second round of extensive repairs that could take until February 2019.

The work is intended to get another 50 to 100 years of service out of the dam on Lake Manatee, which provides 34.9 million gallons of drinking water a day to 300,000 residents in Manatee and Sarasota counties.

“We are beginning immediately on this work,” Mark Simpson, water division manager, told the County Commission Tuesday.

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection assured county officials it would authorize a construction permit, Simpson said.

The county will ask for competitive bids but estimates the project could cost about $17 million.

“We’ll look at the most inexpensive way to do it,” County Administrator Ed Hunzeker said.

Utilities Director Mike Gore said the county will tap reserves for the water and wastewater system, which come from rates paid by customers. Gore said there are no plans to raise rates because of the project.