Portal to Tampa

Tampa Water Department Returns to Normal Disinfection Process as Liquid Oxygen Deliveries Resume

 The Tampa Water Department has resumed its normal water disinfection process at the David L. Tippin Water Treatment Facility.

The Water Department uses liquid oxygen to create ozone, a powerful disinfectant that is added to the water to destroy bacteria, viruses, and other organisms. In late August, liquid oxygen was diverted to local hospitals due to the COVID pandemic. In response, the Water Department changed its primary-disinfection method from ozone to chlorine.

“Helping to ensure public health by providing safe drinking water is our top priority,” said Water Department Director Chuck Weber. “We were fortunate that we were able to quickly switchover to using chlorine as our primary way to disinfect the water. Not every water treatment plant affected by the shortage of liquid oxygen had that flexibility. The resumption of regular liquid oxygen deliveries, lets us return our normal operations.”

Although our water continued to be safe to drink, meeting all federal and state drinking water standards, the Tampa Water Department remained in close contact with our vendors and regulatory partners to re-establish regular liquid oxygen deliveries as soon as it was feasible.

The short-term diversion of liquid oxygen supplies that took place in late August impacted multiple water treatment facilities in multiple states. Fortunately, the continuing downward trend of COVID-related hospitalizations in our area has freed up the demand for liquid oxygen.

Fast Facts about the Tampa Water Department:

  • We produce an average of 82 million gallons per day of drinking water
  • We deliver water to over 720,000 people
  • Our service area spans 211-square-miles and includes over 2,200 miles of pipes throughout the City of Tampa and parts of unincorporated Hillsborough County

For additional information, contact:
Sonia Quinones, Communications Coordinator, Water Department

Office: (813) 274-8345
Cell: (813) 477-0338
Sonia.quinones@tampa.gov