To help Florida’s small water and wastewater utilities provide quality service and maintain system reliability, Florida Public Service Commission staff held ten statewide Class C Water & Wastewater Utility Workshops in July and August.
“Small and rural water and wastewater utilities face a number of unique challenges, and they often have fewer resources to meet those challenges,” said PSC Chairman Julie Brown. “Even though smaller utilities will not generate revenues comparable to larger systems, effective management can produce sufficient operational funds. Our hands-on workshops helped utility managers better prepare for costs outside their control.”
Chairman Brown--who also chaired the Florida Legislature’s 2013 Study Committee on Investor-Owned Water and Wastewater Utility Systems--said, “Working with smaller utilities on long-term planning helps address and prevent financial problems, which benefits the utility and its customers.”
The workshops offered training and strategies, such as understanding the relationship between the PSC and the utility, comprehending Florida Statutes and PSC rules, and reviewing recent legislative changes. Workshops were held in Tallahassee, St. Augustine, Eustis, Ocala, New Port Richey, Ft. Myers, Lakeland, Melbourne, Boca Raton, and Sebring, and 47 participants representing 61 utilities attended.
The PSC recently renovated its website to offer water and wastewater consumers and utilities an improved information resource. The updated site includes frequently asked questions and provides tips and ideas on how to improve utility/customer communications.
“We encourage utility owners to contact their customers regularly via meetings, emails, social media, interactive website, or whatever method is most appropriate for their customers,” said Chairman Brown. “The workshops were an opportunity to explore solutions to ongoing issues affecting many smaller systems, while we continue to research innovative strategies that will strengthen Florida’s water industry.”
For additional information, visit www.floridapsc.com.
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