Water-Related News

SWFWMD upgrading structure protecting Lake Tarpon

PALM HARBOR – Hurricane season is just days away, and preparations on many levels are being made just in case a storm heads toward Tampa Bay area counties.

The Southwest Florida Water Management District is updating a water control structure, S-551, on Lake Tarpon's outfall canal.

The structure, which was built in the 1970s, protects saltwater intrusion into Lake Tarpon and flooding during high water events.

“It prevents salt water intrusion, it maintains the fresh water ecology and maintains water levels in Lake Tarpon," said Sammy Huey, a senior professional engineer with the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

The engineers and construction crews are making repairs to the structure through a method called cathodic protection.

The method works to protect the concrete and rebar, which holds this structure up, from saltwater and corrosion.

“These are the bulk anodes that are going to be installed on the outside of the structure," Huey said. "These are made out of zinc anode metal material."

The metal anodes are installed and they attract the corrosive element in the water, which then corrode the anode and not the rebar.