Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Most Pinellas residents might see increased water, sewer bills

Most Pinellas residents will see jumps in the price of water and sewer service for the next four years if a county-proposed rate increase goes through.

The increase would affect those who directly get their water and sewer service from Pinellas County Utilities, as well as those who buy from a municipality supplied by the county. That includes a number of cities, plus much of the unincorporated area. It does not include St. Petersburg, which has its own system. The first increase would go into effect Oct. 1. Subsequent increases would become effective as of Oct. 1, 2012, 2013 and 2014.

The increases are necessary "to provide a long term, safe, reliable and environmentally sound water, sewer and reclaimed water system," according to the county's website.

More specifically, the rate increases will pay for improvements to the system and the increased cost of obtaining water from Tampa Bay Water. The price increases also will offset the expected loss of business when Tarpon Springs and Oldsmar finish building their own water supplies, said Kevin Becotte, Pinellas County Utilities' interim director. Clearwater also is expanding its own water supply and will take more customers from the county system.

Over the next three years or so, Becotte said, the county is looking at a reduction of 10 million gallons a day in the demand for water from its system.

The price increases will affect hundreds of thousands of people. Pinellas County Utilities has 112,000 retail meters, Becotte said. Added to that are consumers in municipalities and unincorporated Pinellas who get their water and sewer service from cities that buy from the county.

The rate increase is not a done deal. The County Commission will hold a public hearing at 6:30 p.m. Sept. 27 at the Pinellas County Courthouse, 315 Court St., Clearwater, to decide whether to raise the rates.

Retail customers — those who live in parts of the unincorporated area and the cities of Largo, Seminole, Kenneth City and the beach communities — would see no increase in water costs for next year. But, starting Oct. 1, 2012, they would see a 29.9 percent increase in the monthly base charge for water. It is now $3.35; it would go to $4.35. It would increase to $5.35 per month on Oct. 1, 2013, and then to $6.35 per month on Oct. 1, 2014.

However, those retail customers would see a 63-cent increase in the current $10.50 monthly base rate for sewer service beginning Oct. 1. That rate would continue to increase each Oct. 1 through 2014, when it would reach $13.26 per month. Also going up is the cost per thousand gallons of sewer for retail customers. Currently $3.84 per thousand gallons, the proposed increase would mean an additional 23 cents per thousand gallons on Oct. 1, 2011. Rates would increase again on Oct. 1 in 2012, 2013 and 2014, reaching a total then of $4.84 per thousand gallons.

The county also intends to raise its wholesale water rates to the cities of Clearwater, Oldsmar, Pinellas Park, Safety Harbor and Tarpon Springs. The current rate of about $3.30 per thousand gallons will increase to about $3.43 on Oct. 1, then again each year after until it reaches about $3.86 on Oct. 1, 2014.

Reach Anne Lindberg at alindberg@tampabay.com or (727) 893-8450.

Most Pinellas residents might see increased water, sewer bills 07/23/11 [Last modified: Saturday, July 23, 2011 3:14pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Chasing 125: Bucs hope to hit rushing goal more often

    Bucs

    Ever so often, Bucs coach Dirk Koetter pulls back the curtain a bit and shares some of the stats that matter to him most as a coach.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers head coach Dirk Koetter walks the field during the second day of mandatory minicamp at One Buccaneer Place in Tampa, Fla., on Wednesday, June 14, 2017.
  2. Two Boca Ciega students arrested on charges they brought gun to high school football game

    Crime

    PINELLAS PARK — Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for having a loaded semi-automatic handgun with them at a Friday night football game at Pinellas Park High School.

    Two Boca Ciega High School students were arrested for bringing a weapon on school property on Friday night at a high school football game at Pinellas Park High School.
  3. Bucs-Jaguars was NFL's lowest-rated ESPN game since 2005

    Bucs

    It is just the preseason, and it is the Jaguars, but Thursday night's Bucs-Jags preseason game earned a 1.6 rating on ESPN, which is the lowest-rated preseason game (excluding NFL Network) in 12 years, according to Sports Media Watch.

    Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Jameis Winston, left, talks with coach Dirk Koetter during the first half of an NFL preseason football game against the Jacksonville Jaguars, Thursday, Aug. 17, 2017, in Jacksonville, Fla. (AP Photo/Phelan M. Ebenhack)
  4. Crash at U.S. 19 in Pinellas Park kills one, shuts down traffic

    Accidents

    PINELLAS PARK — A man is dead after a crash between two cars at the intersection of U.S. Highway 19 and 70th Avenue N just after 7 a.m. Saturday.

    Pinellas Park police are investigating the death of a man during a crash on U.S. 19 early Saturday. (Pinellas Park police)
  5. Tropics watch: The latest on Harvey and what systems could hit Florida

    Weather

    While Eastern and Central America monitor the progress of Tropical Storm Harvey, two tropical disturbances are moving through the Atlantic.