The City of Lake Wales currently provides water service to more than 17,000 residents. Approximately 60% of the system's customers are within the City's corporate limits, however the City also provides service to large areas in the unincorporated County. The City's water system consists of three major components: (1) raw water supply facilities, (2) water treatment facilities, and (3) water storage and distribution facilities.
The primary source of water for the City is the Floridan aquifer. Raw water is pumped from deep wells drilled into this aquifer at each of the City's three water plants: the Market Street Water Plant, the Grove Avenue Water Plant, and the High School Water Plant.
The Market Street Water Plant is the largest water treatment plant in the City's water system service area. This plant was originally constructed in 1912 and has been expanded several times since. The facility's current rated capacity is 8.57 million gallons per day for a 4-hour peak flow. Current demand averages about 0.492 million gallons per day, with peak daily flow of 1.421 million gallons per day.
The Grove Avenue Water Plant primarily serves the southern and eastern sides of the City, including some of the areas along State Road 60 which have in the past experienced intense growth. Originally constructed to increase water pressures in the ridge areas south of the City, the plant has increased greatly in importance with the expansion of City water lines along State Road 60 and the increased residential and commercial development in this area. The facility's rated capacity is 3.48 million gallons per day for a 4-hour demand. Actual treated flow averages 1.356 million gallons per day, with a peak daily flow of 1.983 million gallons per day.
The High School Water Plant primarily serves the northern side of the City, including areas recently annexed by the City. Originally constructed to increase water pressures in the ridge area north of the City, demands on the facility have increased with the expansion of the City water lines along U.S. Highway 27 and the development of the Eagle Ridge Mall and surroundng area. The facility's current rated capacity is 4.44 million gallons per day for a 4-hour demand. Actual treated flow averages 0.808 million gallons per day, with a peak daily flow of 1.385 million gallons per day.
In addition to the three major water plants, the City also operates three small satellite facilities. The Easy Street water system is a small system acquired from a private developer and serves aproximately 20 residential customers. The Candlelight water system is another small system which the City acquired from a private developer. Both of these facilities have average daily flows of 20,000 gallons per day or less. The third satellite system provides service to the Lake Wales Municipal Airport and the National Guard Armory.
The City's water distribution system is composed of approximately 74 miles of piping ranging from six to twelve incehes in diameter with approximately 75 miles of smaller pipe. Major transmission mains are primarily twelve and ten inches in diameter, with the larger size pipes being concentrated in major extensions to the east and north of the City. There are approximately seven miles of twelve inch mains and approximately 24 miles of eight and ten inch mains.
The water system's storage capacity is currently 2.46 million gallons. This includes a 500,000 gallon elevated storage tank and 600,000 gallons of ground storage at the Market Street Water Plant; 200,000 gallons of ground storage at the Grove Avenue Water Plant; and 200,000 gallons of elevated storage and 400,000 gallons of ground storage at the High School Water Plant. In addition, the City currently has a 500,000 gallon elevated storage tank located at the Eagle Ridge Mall site to provide fire protection for this area.