September 1, 2014
In the early 1900s, visitors were drawn to Thomas Dowling’s resort in Dowling Park not just for the outstanding amenities, but also for the sulfur water. People would travel from miles around specifically because of the foul smelling water, believing it would heal their ailments. Once that myth was disproven, the foul-smelling water was no longer popular. In fact, years ago, Advent Christian Village residents sometimes chose to bathe in the river over their own bathtubs.
In 1976, however, a 150,000 water tank and treatment plant brought dramatic improvement to the water quality at ACV. Certified and licensed operators are required, who test the water daily, making precise adjustments as needed to make the water pure, while keeping accurate records. The certification process is rigorous, requiring many hours of technical study and grueling testing.
In August, ACV’s water treatment plant received a statewide award—Small Water System of the Year, presented by the Florida Rural Water Association. Daryl Ball, water plant supervisor for the past 15 years, accepted the award on the Village’s behalf at FRWA’s annual meeting in Orlando. FRWA offers assistance to its members in the form of operator training, field help, leak and pipe location, and others. “They’re a support system,” says Daryl. They also provide disaster assistance, something ACV has taken advantage of twice. “We borrowed a large pump from FRWA during one of the floods and a mobile generator during a hurricane,” reports Daryl.
Daryl has worked at the water plant for 23 years, and this is not the first FRWA award ACV has received in that time. In 1993, ACV was runner up for Best Tasting Water in the State, and in 1997, was presented its first Small Water System of the Year award. Daryl is licensed in both drinking water and wastewater. The water plant employs four full-time and two part-time employees.
FRWA recognizes just a few outstanding water and wastewater systems and individuals in Florida each year and it’s an honor that ACV’s water treatment plant was chosen for one of the awards this year. It’s a testament to the hard work Daryl and his staff put in each day.