Grant Helps Interconnect Walnut Hill, Bratt-Davisville Water Systems

A Northwest Florida Water Management District grant helped connect two North Escambia water systems to provide better service for about 5,000 customers.

The District’s grant of $82,229 helped pay to construct more than two miles of 6-inch water main for the interconnection of Walnut Hill Water Works and the Bratt-Davisville Water System. Both systems are part of the Escambia River Electric Cooperative.

“The two water systems can now operate as one system, share resources and provide a more reliable source of water to its customers,” said Sabrina Owens, spokesperson for EREC. “This project was needed to ensure water quality for the future of the water system customers, and it would not have been possible without the Northwest Florida Water Management District grant funds. The use of EREC in-kind labor and equipment kept project costs to a minimum.”

“The District’s Water Supply Development Grant program has provided millions of dollars in much-needed support for communities all across northwest Florida as they address their water supply needs,” said Jerry Pate, Vice-Chairman of the District’s Governing Board who represents Escambia County. “Many of these communities are small and would otherwise have trouble securing funding for projects like this.”
The district’s grant also helped pay for the addition of six bores, 20 valves, and seven fire hydrants to the interconnection, which stretches along Highway 99 from Gobbler Road to the water well and water tower at Water Tank Road.

“We can’t take lightly the importance of providing a safe and reliable source of clean water to residents in northwest Florida,” said Sen. Doug Broxson. “I appreciate the cooperation between the Escambia River Electric Cooperative and the water management district to serve the residents in northern Escambia County.”

The completed project also increases water pressure and fire safety for both water systems.

“This project may appear to be small to some people, but its impact is huge for these residents,” said Rep. Mike Hill, who represents Escambia County. “Providing clean water, increasing water pressure, upgrading fire safety – these are things that make a positive impact on everyone in this area. I appreciate the work by all involved to complete this project.”

Escambia River Electric Cooperative provided match funding in the amount of $82,229 for construction crews and material supplies for the project.

The funding is part of the District’s Water Supply Development Grant program, which launched in 2013 and has awarded funding for 70 projects totaling more than $21.6 million. These projects have helped local governments and utilities make potable water distribution system improvements, replace aging infrastructure, evaluate and develop alternative water supply projects, and address local drinking water quality issues. Two-thirds of the projects are in rural or financially disadvantaged communities.