Monday, September 13, 2010

Higher water bills in the future for Floridians

You can expect to see higher water bills in the near future as a result of new mandates required by a lawsuit settlement between the federal government and environmental activists.

The first set of Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) mandates is scheduled to take effect in October and it is estimated it will cost the average Florida household an additional $700 per year. Why are the costs increasing? The new mandates will require utilities across Florida to make expensive, widespread retrofitting to water treatment systems. According to a study performed by Carollo Engineers, the capital costs for these projects could total $50.7 billion and require an additional $1.3 billion per year in additional operating costs.

This means that Florida’s utilities will be passing the cost of complying with the new mandates on to Florida’s families and businesses and services you are already receiving will cost more. As it stands, Florida would be the only state singled out thus far by the federal government with these new mandates and Floridians will be the only ones burdened with these additional water costs. A recent poll conducted by Mason-Dixon Polling & Research of likely Florida voters shows that 61 percent of Floridians are against the water mandates if the mandates were to result in a $700 increase in their water bills.

Naturally, we all want to keep our state waters clean, and Florida has been an exemplary leader in aggressively protecting our streams, lakes, rivers, estuaries and other waterways. However, many government and scientific agencies have expressed concerns that these proposed federal mandates are not supported scientifically. In this tough economy, how many Floridians can afford to invest more money to meet mandates that have no guaranteed results?

One set of the proposed federal water nutrient criteria singling out our State has been delayed until 2012 but others have not and the effects will be felt sooner rather than later. Please ask your Senators and members of Congress to stop the federal government from imposing this added financial hardship on Floridians at a time we can least afford it.


  1. This is hilarious.
    Our tap water is unsafe to drink, yet the EPA allows BIG BUSINESS to deplete our natural resources! Our Natural Water supply.
    In the end AGAIN the consumer pays for improvements so BIG BUSINESS can profit.
    The EPA has known for years Florida's drinking water was unsafe to drink, but took NO STEPS to correct it.
    Let the EPA pay for purifying systems and charge the bottled water companies the expense, not the consumers!

  2. Condo & HOA Law Group,

    After passing on the post by Donna on the increase in water rates, I received an e-mail from one of our Board members labeling the whole thing a "rumor". He supplied a copy of a Naples, FL City Council meeting (9-15-10) resolution that seems to imply the water rates will only rise by $6.00 (six) annually. Do we have 2 issues confused here?

  3. Ron,
    I believe we do have two issues confused here. The Council might be referring only to the City's proposed water rate increase and not the future costs associated with retrofitting various water treatment facilities to comply with the EPA's nutrient requirements. Remember, these new retrofitting requirements will be coming in waves so there might not be any facilities earmarked in Naples at this time.