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Tampa Bay Water loses appeal over leaky reservoir


Published:   |   Updated: September 23, 2013 at 11:56 PM

Tampa Bay Water has lost again in court in its attempt to recoup costs associated with a leaky reservoir.

The agency had sued HDR Engineering over construction of the C.W. “Bill” Young Regional Reservoir in Lithia, which went online in 2005 but began cracking during its first drawdown a year later. A jury last year ruled against Tampa Bay Water.

Tampa Bay Water, a nonprofit district responsible for supplying water to about 2.3 million residents in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties, appealed, but the agency learned Monday that the Eleventh Circuit Court of Appeals had ruled against the agency.

“While the outcome of the appeal was not favorable for the people the Tampa Bay region, the judicial system has made its decision and the agency must continue to focus its attention on the future,” the agency said in a prepared statement.

Richard Harrison, an attorney for Tampa Bay Water, said it will be up to the board to determine whether to continue to fight the issue out in court. The agency received the more than 30-page opinion on Monday afternoon and its legal team and staff still has to review it carefully, Harrison said.

As for the cracked reservoir, Tampa Bay Water is in the process of fixing it, said Brandon Moore, a spokesman for Tampa Bay Water. Renovations are expected to be completed at the end of 2014. It will be partially operational and will be able to provide water by the summer of 2014, Moore said.

The cost for design and renovation is approximately $129 million, which is being paid by Tampa Bay Water, Moore said.

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