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Reservoir Repairs May Include Expansion

While Tampa Bay Water's gigantic reservoir is being repaired, it could also be expanded.

The reservoir in rural Hillsborough County is already the largest in the state, holding up to 15 billion gallons of water. But the walls have been plagued with shallow cracks, so now the wholesale utility is lining up contractors to repair it.

The repair work will require draining the reservoir for two years, senior engineering manager Jon Kennedy told the utility's board Monday, so why not use this time to make it 3 billion gallons bigger?

"It's going to be out of service anyway," Kennedy said.

The reservoir is currently full, he pointed out, but with all the recent rainfall "we could've put additional water in the facility if we'd had the room."

So the staff is asking the firms bidding on the repair job to include an option to expand the reservoir to 18 billion gallons, he said. ...