St. Pete's Water Plan
Improving your infrastructure from the ground up
Water is vitally important to St. Pete’s quality of life. From washing and hydrating to cooking and enjoying the waterfront, St. Pete’s infrastructure makes it all possible. Although most of the city’s infrastructure is out of sight (think pipes under the ground), it plays a vital role in keeping the city running.
In order to be able to efficiently provide continued reliable service and increase resiliency for the future, the City of St. Petersburg has developed St. Pete’s Water Plan, intended as a holistic infrastructure plan that addresses the city’s aging infrastructure in these areas:
- Potable (drinking) water
- Reclaimed water
- Natural bodies of water
As part of St. Pete’s Water Plan, the Stormwater Master Plan aims to improve stormwater quality, reduce flooding and mitigate the impacts of sea level rise in St. Pete. More about the Stormwater Master Plan can be found at stpete.org/Stormwater.
In the past, St. Pete has underinvested and underspent on preparing its infrastructure for the future. Much of St. Pete’s infrastructure, most of which was developed from 1930-1980, has reached or exceeded its design lifespan.
Since 2015, the City has invested about $2 billion to operate, maintain and repair aging infrastructure and increase resiliency for the future. We have been able to increase resiliency and reliability, but there’s more work to be done and more work will continue to be required. That’s where St. Pete’s Water Plan comes in.
Within St. Pete's Water Plan are projects that serve the shared goal of continued reliable service and increase resiliency.
Lift Station 87 Wet Weather FLow Transfer Project
This project helps balance flow between water treatment facilities during wet weather events to improve wastewater service reliability. More at stpete.org/LiftStation87.
More to come.
What This Means For Utility Customers
Completed in 2019, St. Pete’s Water Plan identified a required investment of approximately $3.5 billion in water resources infrastructure. Utility fees and rates will be impacted by the plan, as well as continue to adjust due to inflation and escalation costs over time. Any changes to utility rates will be communicated each year prior to utility rate changes in October.
Revenues from utility fees are directly tied to the costs of the specific utility they support. For example, stormwater fees directly support the functions that assist with planning, operations and maintenance of stormwater systems, which help mitigate flooding, enhance water quality and minimize the environmental impact of stormwater pollution.
We will all have to chip in to build a more reliable and resilient infrastructure. If we fail to make this investment, St. Pete’s infrastructure will continue to age and we will experience more frequent sewer leaks, boil water notices and more issues related to tidal concerns and climate change.
We're Here to Help
The City is here to help customers that are having trouble paying their utility bill. Extended payment arrangements are available, allowing customers to pay their current monthly bill along with a series of 6 monthly installments on their outstanding balance.
Customers are encouraged to make payment arrangements by calling the Utility Customer Service Call Center at 727-893-7341 or emailing Utility.Bill@stpete.org as soon as possible to avoid associated fees or termination of service. The Utility Customer Service Call Center is open 8 a.m. - 5 p.m., Monday through Friday.
St. Pete residents may be eligible for assistance programs.
Homeowner Assistance Fund
Homeowner Assistance Fund helps alleviate financial hardships associated with the COVID-19 pandemic by providing financial assistance to Florida homeowners to prevent foreclosure and displacement. Aid may be used towards mortgage payments, property taxes and other fees, insurance, utilities, or internet payments. More at stpete.org/MortgageAssistance.
211 Tampa Bay Cares
211 Tampa Bay Cares offers a directory of additional assistance. Visit 211tampabay.org or call 211 for more.
The City offers water-saving rebate programs, workshops, resources and more at stpete.org/WaterConservation.
Help Your Neighbors
With the Utility Assistance Program, utility customers can sign up to make automatic donations through their utility bill. Donated funds help utility customers experiencing financial hardships with their utility costs. More information and the sign-up form can be found at stpete.org/UtilityAssistance.
Do Your Part
We all play a role in the health of St. Pete’s infrastructure. Each resident, visitor and business can be sewer smart by following these guidelines:
- Never put fats, oils or grease down the drain. Once in the sewer system, these substances congeal and contribute to sewer blockages. Instead, collect fats, oils and grease and dispose of them in the trash.
- Do not flush anything down the toilet except for number 1, number 2 and toilet paper. Wipes advertised as ‘flushable’ should be thrown in the trash since they don’t easily break down and can cause sewer blockages.
More at stpete.org/SewerSmarts.