On 11/13/18 at 5:30 PM, and 11/28/18 at 6:00 PM, there will be two public hearings to discuss a Water & Sewer rate increase. The meetings will be held at City Hall at 100 Civic Court, Homestead, Florida.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why is my water rate going up?
- Demand for service has grown significantly, but there is not enough money to keep up. Since 2005, Homestead’s population has grown by 75%; the cost of water Homestead is required to buy from Miami-Dade County has increased by 57%; and the cost of sewer treatment Homestead is required to pay Miami-Dade County has increased by 64%.
When is the last time water rates went up?
- This is the first increase in 10 years.
How does Homestead’s rate compare to other cities?
- Homestead currently has the lowest rate out of 34 communities in Broward & Miami-Dade Counties and is 21% lower than the second lowest rate, City of Miami. Homestead’s rate is 99% lower than the highest community, Bay Harbor Islands.
- With the proposed increase, Homestead will still have the third lowest rate and only differs from the lowest rate by 5%.
Who manages Homestead’s water supply?
- The South Florida Water Management District is tasked with managing and preserving water resources from Orlando to the Florida Keys. Every public and private water utility, including HPS Water, is required to obtain a Water Use Permit and adhere to the conditions of operations set out by the District, which include daily limits to how much water the utility can use.
Where does Homestead’s water come from?
- Homestead pumps most of its water from the Biscayne Aquifer, a groundwater deposit located just below the surface of the land in South Florida. When Homestead reaches the daily limit to water it is allowed to pump out of the Aquifer, Homestead then has to buy water from Miami-Dade County to meet customer demand.
What is the Biscayne Aquifer?
- The Biscayne Aquifer is made out of porous rock with tiny cracks and holes. Water then seeps in and fills these tiny cracks and holes. It is very close to the surface.
- Because this drinking water supply is so close to the surface, it is especially prone to contamination. Typically an underground water system can cleanse itself of low levels of contaminants through natural dilution or natural filtration.
How reliable is the Biscayne Aquifer as a water supply?
- The Biscayne Aquifer’s unique physical characteristics make natural dilution and natural filtration cleaning systems not entirely reliable. This, compounded by the fact that millions of gallons of water are pumped out of the ground each day, contributes to regional vulnerability for the groundwater supply. This makes water conservation extremely important.
How does the rate structure relate to water conservation?
- The proposed water rate increase is tiered. So, especially high users will face a larger increase than the typical user. This type of tiered structure encourages conservation by rewarding customers who cut their consumption.
- Being proactive can protect our region’s water supply and prevent the need for expensive water treatment processes at our water treatment plants.