Water and Wastewater Customer Usage Rates Reduced by 3%
The St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners approved a resolution on June 20, 2023, for a 3% reduction in customer usage rates for water and wastewater provided by the St. Johns County Utility Department (SJCUD). Overall, about 90% of water customers could see a decrease in their monthly bill. SJCUD is a non-profit utility and serves approximately 54,000 water customer accounts and 45,000 wastewater customer accounts. The usage rate reduction goes into effect on July 1, 2023.
“We are so happy to be able to offer this usage rate reduction to our customers,” St. Johns County Utility Director Colin Groff said. “We have experienced substantial growth, an increased customer base, and have recognized the economies of scale for a more efficient cost of operations, so we have this wonderful opportunity to lower our usage rates. Even with this reduction in usage rates, our operational efficiencies will still empower us to meet our service level demands, regulatory mandates, and creditworthiness requirements for our enterprise operation.”
In 2006 and 2007, SJCUD acquired two private utilities serving the Pont Vedra area, with their current rates remaining intact. In 2022, the St. Johns County Board of County Commissioners approved the creation of one consolidated utility, which included sustaining long-term financial viability, recovering adequate costs for operations and debt service, and maintaining affordability for all customers through a usage rate equalization review. The current Ponte Vedra area water, wastewater, and reclaimed water usage rates will be modified to match those of the SJCUD system as a part of that rate equalization review.
Residential customers in the Ponte Vedra area who use above-average amounts of water of 20,000 gallons or more in their home and for outdoor irrigation could see an increase in their monthly bill without implementing recommended irrigation schedules. The average SJCUD residential customer uses 9,000 gallons per month.
“In addition to multiple public outreach meetings in the Ponte Vedra area, our Utility Department staff will continue to offer residential customers assistance in best management practices,” Groff said. “One of our goals is ensuring the St. Johns County community is a good steward of our water resources.”