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BEACON PHOTOS/AL EVERSON WATER FROM THE RIVER WILL RECHARGE THE AQUIFER — At upper left, Deltona Mayor Heidi Herzberg, at podium, is flanked by members of the Deltona City Commission as she welcomes those attending a groundbreaking Jan. 12 for Deltona’s infrastructure project to tap the St. Johns River for water to replenish the aquifer. Above, city officials and others join in kicking off construction of the water system with shovels full of earth on the site at 980 Lakeshore Drive in Deltona. “This project is another example of reimagine, redevelop and rediscover Deltona,” Herzberg said.

After years of discussion, Deltona is moving forward with a plan to draw water from the St. Johns River to replenish the water pumped from underground.

Known as the “straw project,” the $10.6 million infrastructure addition involves installing intake pipes off Lake Monroe’s north shore and transmitting millions of gallons of water per day to a treatment plant approximately a mile away, where it will be made available for irrigation and for insertion into the aquifer.

The addition of the treated river water to the aquifer is supposed to offset the withdrawals of groundwater by Deltona and other West Volusia utilities for enhanced treatment for human use, while maintaining the minimum flows and levels of Blue Spring in Orange City.

The project is to be completed in June 2023.

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