UTILITY CUSTOMER SERVICE

Utility Billing Direct Debit Program

The City’s Utility Customer Service Department is located at the City Hall Complex at 2401 53rd Street South and is open Monday through Friday from 8:00am to 4:30pm.  You can also reach the Customer Service Department by dialing 893-1016.  There are three convenient locations where you can drop your utility payment off. During normal business hours at the Customer Service window, and after hours you may drop payments at the drop box located at the corner of 53rd and 24th Ave.  In addition, there is a drop box by the front door of the City Hall Complex.  When paying your utility bill in person or dropping off the payment, please bring or enclose your utility stub to ensure accurate payment processing.

The City of Gulfport also accepts Bright House payments.  Payment methods for these bills are cash or check only. You must have the bill with you in order to make a payment.  We do not have access to their system.

Effective September 11, 2007 any payments received after 4:00 p.m. will be credited to your account the next business day.

WATER FACTS

A nationwide survey shows that the average adult uses 60 gallons of water a day.  A load of laundry uses up to 90 gallons of water.  Filling a bathtub uses up to 30 gallons of water.  A five-minute shower requires 12 to 35 gallons of water.  Flushing your toilet uses 1.6 to 7 gallons of water.  Handheld hoses use 15 gallons per minute.

 

WATER/SEWER RATE STRUCTURE

As a result of an executive order from the Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) to reduce water consumption by 5% through the use of various conservation methods with the main emphasis placed on changing the City’s current rate structure, the City was required to develop an inverted rate structure. The premise behind the inverted rate structure is that the unit rate per thousand increases at separate and distinct tiers (water consumption levels).  The design of this structure provides for increasing rates for higher consumption and is designed to provide a monetary incentive (lower water bills) for conservation efforts of high end users.  The structure was implemented or will be implemented by all Pinellas County municipalities by October 1, 2001.  Therefore, to comply with this executive order, the City developed an inverted tiered structure designed to meet the 5% consumption reduction objective.

The City has attempted to comply with the SWFWMD executive order through the implementation of an inverted rate structure that would affect only those users who utilize in excess of 3,000 gallons of water per month per unit.  Under the proposed rate adjustment, 52% of the residents who currently average less than the 3,000 gallon threshold will not be affected by this new structure.  This new structure was implemented with the first billing in November 2001.

The City of  St. Petersburg provides potable water to the residents of Gulfport and treats the sanitary sewer.  The new rates(adopted October 2011)are depicted below:

 

Usage/1,000 Gallons

Water

Sewer

0-2,000 (Minimum Bill)

$ 11.04

$ 13.72

2,001-3,000

$ 5.52

$ 6.86

3,001-5,000

$ 6.24

$ 7.22

5,001-10,000

$ 6.99

$ 7.57

10,001-15,000

$ 7.71

$ 7.95

15,001+

$ 8.45

$ 8.31

 

Should you have any questions about your bill, please feel free to call Utility Customer Service at 893-1016.

WHAT TO DO IF YOUR WATER CONSUMPTION IS HIGHER THAN NORMAL?

Leaks in your water distribution system are sometimes easy to detect by the sound.  The most common leaks occur in the toilet.  If there is a leak, the water level in the tank will normally remain low long after a flush therefore, the ball float never raises high enough to close the valve and the water runs continuously.

Some leaks in the toilet system can be very slow and more difficult to detect.  However, one excellent method of spotting a slow leak is to put a couple of drops of food coloring into the tank.  Leave the toilet untouched for an hour or so.  If the coloring shows up in the bowl, it means the water is seeping past the ball stopper and the flush system is leaking.  Test tablets are also available at the Utility Customer Service window during normal business hours.

You may also check for leaks by making sure all the water is turned off in the house and ensuring that all outside faucets are off.  After confirming that all faucets are off, locate your water meter and determine if the dials are moving.  If any of the dials are moving and all water is off, you have a leak somewhere from your meter to your house.  If no faucets or toilets have a leak, a plumber should be called to review your system.

ABOUT YOUR BILL

Utility bills are generated every month. Billing statements used by the City shows all the component charges and your actual consumption.  The City charges a minimum water consumption of 2,000 gallons per cycle.  This has been built into the City’s rate structure to maintain the highest quality of service at a reasonable cost to the entire City.

Bills are due and payable when rendered.  If payment is not received within twenty one (21) days after the billing date, it is considered late and is assessed a delinquent charge in the amount of 1 ½% per month on the unpaid balance.  If your service is disconnected there will be a $22 reconnection fee and your entire account balance must be paid in full to have your service restored.

If you are building or refilling a pool, the City has a program designed to adjust the sewer component of your utility bill.  You must contact the Utility Customer Service Department to have the Water Department read the meter before and after the pool is filled.  There is a $16.50 charge for these extra readings.  Therefore, based on the current sewer charges, this program is not cost beneficial unless your pool is over 5,000 gallons.  This service is not available to residents that are on the Pinellas County sewer system.

Another service the City offers is “Standby Charge”.  If you are leaving the area for three months or longer, you may find it saves you money to have your water turned off at the meter thus placing your account on what we call “Standby”.  If your account is not on “Standby” you will be charged a minimum bill of $48.80 per unit.  On “Standby” your monthly charge is $24.08 per unit. Per City Ordinance, the standby charge includes an $10.84 charge for sewer, $8.69 for garbage, $2.87 storm water and $1.68 for recycling.  Keep in mind there is a $11.00 charge to turn the water off and a $11.00 charge to reconnect your service.  Therefore, this City provided service is only cost beneficial if you are going to be gone longer than three months.

UTILITY DEPOSITS & INTEREST

On December 21, 1999, the Council passed Ordinance 99-17, which provided payment of interest on utility deposits.   Annual interest on utility deposits is posted to utility accounts annually in October.

Residents who own their own home are not required to pay a utility deposit.  However, renting tenants of a single-family home must pay a utility deposit of $121.00.  This refundable deposit is applied to the last utility bill and the remaining balance will be refunded when your service is disconnected.  Commercial and multi-family account utility deposits are calculated based on two (2) times the estimated monthly utility bill for the property.

RETURNED CHECKS

There is a minimum charge of $25.00 for service and handling each time a check is returned to us by the bank. If your service has been disconnected for returned check, the entire outstanding balance plus all returned check fees must be paid before the service is restored.  In the event that two returned checks are presented in a twelve-month period the account will be placed on a cash only basis for six months.  If another check is returned the account will be permanently placed on “Cash Only Basis”.

PAYMENT METHODS

This City is now accepting credit card and online payments through our web site in addition to checks and cash for utility bills effective January 2, 2001.  Credit card payments may be made in person or by phone before 4:00 p.m. with certain ID information.   MasterCard, Visa, Discover, and American Express cards will be accepted.  Only MasterCard or Visa will be accepted for online payments.

In addition, the City has added a new payment option, direct debit. This option allows the city to debit either a checking or saving account for your monthly utility bill. Please click here to access the form to get enrolled.


RECYCLING

The City of Gulfport has a curbside recycling program that currently recycles aluminum cans, steel cans, plastic bottles and containers marked #1 to #7, newspapers, cardboard (flattened) and mixed paper (office paper, magazines, phone books).  Each week, on the resident’s designated recycling day, residents can place all recycled matters in the City’s recycling bins (blue and green) at curbside. 

Besides helping the environment by recycling materials, the City and the residents actually save money and receive limited revenue to offset the cost of this operation.  The City receives some limited revenue from the sales of recycled materials.  In the fiscal year of 2011 the City received $37,467 for the sale of recycled materials.

If you are currently recycling – THANKS!! If not, please take the time to pull out your recycling bins and start today.  Lost you City issued recycling bins or don’t have any, you can pick up a bin at the Public Services Department located at 5330 23rd Street.  If you are unable to stop by, please contact 893-1089 and we will arrange to have bins delivered to your home

RECLAIMED WATER

Although the City actively pursued this option, the supplier (City of St. Petersburg) has determined that it will not expand this alternative water source to the City of Gulfport.  Although discussions with the City of St. Petersburg continue, if the program is adopted the costs associated with the expansion of the distribution system would be financed by the end users.  Currently, it does not appear this service will be available in the near future.

 

 

 

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