• Q & A with JEA: Action News Jax asks questions about the Jacksonville area water supply and growth

    Updated:

    JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - Northeast Florida is growing so fast, the biggest water supplier JEA is projecting that local demand will outpace groundwater supplies as early as 2035. So Action News Jax asked the question: will we run out of water?

    RELATED: Action News Jax Investigates: Growth outpacing current water supply in Jacksonville-area

    1. What is JEA water output/day?
      1. JEA has produced an average of 113 MGD of potable water over the past 12 months and 17 MGD of reclaimed water for industrial and irrigation use for the same time period.

     

    1. What is average rate of water consumption per home? Does it vary from Duval to St. Johns?
      1. Overall, JEA's residential customers use approximately 5,600 gallons per month.

    County

    Use per home

    Duval

    5,300

    St Johns

    7,200

    Nassau

    7,700

    Clay

    6,900

    JEA Total

    5,600

     

    1. How many homes do you serve? County by county break down if you have it.
    2. How many homes was it in 2014? And what is projection for 2024?

    County

    2014

    2018

    2024

    Duval

    219,200

    225,100

    264,700

    St Johns

    21,100

    28,300

    41,500

    Nassau

    4,700

    6,700

    10,300

    Clay

    3,100

    3,800

    5,200

    Total

    248,100

    263,900

    321,700

     

    1. Do we have enough water for projected growth?
      1. JEA does have enough permitted capacity to meet customer demands.  JEA forecasts future growth through 2045+ for future resource planning.  Alternatives to our current supply, the Floridan Aquifer, will be needed and JEA is actively working to evaluate multiple alternatives for where and when that additional supply is needed.  

     

    Grid

    FDEP Permitted Capacity, MGD

    CUP Allocation, MGD

    12 Month ADF

    12 Month MDF

    North Grid

    116.1

    96.7

    65.3

    86.5

    South Grid

    189.1

    52.1

    47.0

    80.4

    Nassau Grid

    8.9

    4.2

    3.4

    6.3

    Mayport Grid

    0.79

    0.10

    0.05

    0.10

    Ponte Vedra Grid

    3.06

    1.36

    1.06

    1.67

    Ponce de Leon Grid

    1.05

    0.52

    0.43

    0.68

    OVERALL SUMMARY

    319

    155

    117

    176

    The Consumptive Use Permit allocation is an annual limit regulating the amount of water that can be withdrawn out of any wellfield (Water Treatment Plant) which is tracked using the Average Daily Flow (ADF) for the grid/WTP.

    The Florida Department of Environmental Protection issues a permit for each WTP to document what each plant is capable of producing which is tracked using the Maximum Daily Flow (MDF).

     

     

    1. Do we have enough infrastructure for projected growth? If not, what is needed?
      1. JEA has been actively planning for, and preparing designs for, additional transmission mains and water treatment plants to ensure that water is delivered to it's customers.  The planned large transmission mains shown will work with capacity improvements (new WTP, storage and pumping) to better position JEA to meet future growth.

    1. How many pump stations do you have to get water to St. Johns County?  How many are you building or projected to build?
      1. JEA has 38 WTPs throughout the service territory to produce water for local demands and a couple of booster stations to assist with delivery of this water.  There are currently 17 WTPs in the South Grid (JEA's connected water service area south and east of the St Johns River), with 3 in the St Johns County and an additional one, currently in design, to be constructed in the RiverTown area.  Improvements are underway at the US-1 Storage and Repump facility to add storage and pumping capacity.

     

    1. Does all water for St. Johns and Southside of Duval come from west of the St. Johns River? How does it get to homes? Are there big pipes under the St. Johns River to carry that water? If so, do you have any video of those pipes either in action, or as they were being installed?
      1. No.  The South Grid is capable of producing up to 52 MGD for any given year for the local demand.  The Main Street WTP can provide up to 32 MGD (currently 20 MGD) to assist the South Grid with meeting demands through large transmission mains (30" and 36") under the river.  Those river crossings were completed with two different projects; the first was completed in the early 2000s ('03-'04) and the latter in 2010s ('12-'14).

     

    1. When water pressure drops, does it impact fire hydrants? If so, do you keep reserve water that can be accessed to increase pressure quickly for fighting fires?
      1. Water pressure is impacted during the daily peaks and more so during drought periods; this drop in pressure does impact the water available at fire hydrants.  In order for JEA to maintain the ability to meet emergency demands pressures in the system are reduced to reserve some water in the reservoirs for the distinct purpose of fire protection; they are designed and permitted that way with/through the FDEP. 

     

    1. When demand is high… do you turn off pumps to drop pressure/decrease amount of water consumed? If so, how often does this happen?
      1. JEA monitors and regulates pressures in the system at each WTP/Booster Pump station using a combination of controls (pump sizes, drives, etc..).  The facilities are sized to account for additional demands in emergency situations.  This past May was the hottest over the past century and provided a stress test to the system that necessitated some actions to ensure that we maintained the ability to meet an emergency condition, had it presented itself.  JEA is in the process of analyzing the available data (flows and pressures) to determine how the system responded and use the information to better prepare for future peak demands through infrastructure or operational improvements.    

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