Buckhorn Opens New Pump Station in Sulphur Springs - New facility is wrapped in a larger-than-life mural

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Mayor Bob Buckhorn will be joined by local leaders to officially start the new water pumping station in Sulphur Springs, which is located at the intersection of Nebraska Avenue and Sitka Street, adjacent to the Sulphur Springs Pool. The ceremony and open house of the normally secured facility and lower weir will take place on at 10 a.m. on Monday, June 4, 2012.

“The Hillsborough River is one of Tampa's greatest assets and a key component to helping our city grow and create new economic activity. I am committed to protecting the health and sustainability of the river," said Mayor Bob Buckhorn. "This new pumping station is an important piece of a multi-year strategy that helps us accomplish that."

Recently completed upgrades to the decades old pumping system at Sulphur Springs enhance water quality and environment in the Sulphur Springs Run and the Hillsborough River, as well as provide a new community landmark. The $5.3 million facility upgrades were partially funded by the Southwest Florida Water Management District as a component of a multi-year plan to increase water flow in the Lower Hillsborough River and support environmental recovery. The improvements double the amount of water going to the Hillsborough River below the dam, enhancing water quality by providing a much needed freshwater zone downstream of the dam.

Since the 1960s, the City of Tampa has used Sulphur Springs to augment water supplies in the Hillsborough River Reservoir during times of low rainfall or to bolster flows in the Lower Hillsborough River.

The expansion of the pumping station also provided a canvas for a larger-than-life full building mural by artist John Gurbacs depicting the ecosystem of the Hillsborough River. Gurbacs, a local artist, has been painting professionally since 1975. His work is represented in four museum collections, including The Tampa Museum of Art, Gulf Coast Museum, Polk Museum of Art and the USF Contemporary Art Museum, as well as in murals at Bobby Hicks Park in Tampa and the Pier Aquarium in St. Petersburg.