JEA water treatment facility breaks ground in 80-acre lot in Southside area

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A new Jacksonville Electric Authority water treatment facility broke ground in the Southside area on Thursday.

The Greenland Water Treatment Facility will open in 2024 and it will turn wastewater into irrigation water you can use on your plants and yard.

”Even more so than treating the wastewater, it’s going to provide a product, a beneficial product, and that is called reclaimed water, which we can use to irrigate our lawns instead of using drinking water,” explained Raynetta Marshall, Chief Operating Officer at JEA.

The entire plot of land covers 120 acres, of which 80 acres have been cleared for use. Currently, 50 acres are planned for development, with the remaining 30 acres left for future expansion.

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There’s a buffer around the site with wetlands, which is about less than a mile from nearby homes.

This project costs $150 million, which is all funded internally by ratepayers fees.

In November 2024, it will provide 4 million gallons of reclaimed water a day from 22,800 JEA customers.

Initially, it will serve 5,700 customers with their irrigation needs.

The goal is to sustain a larger population expected in the area and to avoid using drinking water for irrigation, like to take care of your plants.

JEA currently operates 11 wastewater treatment plants.

Deborah Fried lives next door and bought her E-Town home in October of last year. She tells Action News Jax she has her concerns, she says she didn’t know about this project.

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”Smell. Wastewater,” she said. “So that was not told to us when we bought our home so I’m not too happy about the surprise that I found out today.”

”It’s so necessary, it’s so needed,” Marshall explained as she pointed out the project aims to have minimal impact on its surrounding areas. “We don’t want people to want to know that we’re here because usually when they know that we’re here it’s not for a great reason. So it’s important to have this buffer. We’re gonna have this buffer, we’re gonna have great odor control.”

JEA also told Action News Jax it welcomes any feedback from neighbors as this process continues. This facility won’t affect current rates for customers.

This marks the first water reclamation facility to break ground in Duval County in 45 years.