(TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) — If you are a Tampa Water Department customer, you might notice your water tasting or smelling differently soon.
The department said it is purchasing water from Tampa Bay Water starting Thursday. The company supplies wholesale drinking water to Hillsborough County, Pasco County, Pinellas County, as well as New Port Richey, St. Petersburg, and Tampa.
“Although some of our customers may notice taste and odor differences, the water remains safe to drink and use in their homes and businesses,” said John Ring, Water Production Manager for the Tampa Water Department.
The Tampa Water Department said the purchase is necessary due to the lack of recent rainfall and to comply with the requirements of its water use permit.
The department said it is allowed to withdraw up to 82 million gallons from the Hillsborough River reservoir per day but rising drinking water demand has led to an increased withdrawal from the reservoir, approaching the limit.
The Tampa Water Department said it will continue purchasing water from Tampa Bay Water until water levels in the Hillsborough River reservoir are restored. Tampa’s dry season usually runs from October through May.
Officials said some customers, particularly in the New Tampa area, may notice taste and odor differences due to the difference in water source. Water from TBW can be a blend of groundwater, surface water, or desalinated water, officials said.
Tampa Water customers will also see additional charges on their utility bill listed as “TBW Pass-Through.” The charges will likely begin to appear on your August or September statements.