Like several of its counterparts in Florida, Pasco County is a name frequently repeated in the news when it comes to growth. Founded in 1897 and located just north of Hillsborough County and Tampa, the relatively young Pasco County is approaching a population of 500,000 — spurred in part by a 35 percent increase between 2000 and 2010.
Less known to the public but noteworthy nonetheless, Pasco County Utilities has made headlines in the waterworks industry as a pioneer in the application of horizontal directional drilling (HDD). HDD is a technique in which pipe joints are assembled above ground and then pulled through a hole drilled under natural and manmade obstacles. HDD allows for environmentally friendly pipe installations under wetlands, rivers, creeks, highways, railroad tracks, buildings and other obstacles.
Pasco County Utilities recently tied a record for the longest pullback — or length of pipeline pulled underground — on an installation with AMERICAN Ductile Iron Pipe 36-inch Flex-Ring® pipe. That installation, which went under wetlands, was 1,640 feet in length.
“It was necessary to not disturb the wetlands because they are part of the county’s established wildlife corridor that links major environment preservation lands/properties within the county,” said Bruce Kennedy, assistant county administrator of Utilities for Pasco County. “The wetlands are home to bald cypress, water hickory, maples, oaks, cabbage palms and bay trees with a dense understory of vines, ferns and herbaceous plants. They provide habitat for river otters, deer, squirrels and a variety of birds and snakes.”