Massive Increases in Longwood Water Rates

City Commissioners vote for massive increases in Longwood water rates

The Homeowners Association has received many complaints by homeowners about the huge increase in their water bills. The HOA does not control setting water usage rates. The City of Longwood Utility Department provides water to homeowners within the city limits but the rates are set by the City Commission. Last year, the Commission voted to increase rates significantly every year for five years. Click HERE to review the approved rate schedule which includes the year-to-year increases that you should expect on you upcoming water bills.

The explanation given for the significant rates is that the infrastructure within the City is old and the plan is to eventually replace large areas and therefore the City must find a way to create a capital fund for this. In addition, the City has stated that sewage rates, charged by Seminole County to the City, have increase significantly and additional revenue is needed to offset increasing costs.

While the motive for the rate increases seems to be reasonable, most complaints are centered around how the rate increase is justified.
  1. The Commission states that the average Longwood household consumes 7,000 gallons per month. Therefore, they decided that the multi-tiered rate schedule should provide for the lowest rate between 0 and 9,000 gallons but those using more than 9,000 gallons per month will end up paying an unusually high punitive rate.
  2. Commission was considering spending $3Million to replace all City water meters even though they work fine. The Commission has since voted against this option thanks, in part, to Commissioner Weller's proactive stance against it.
  3. Commission has no vision to bring in reclaimed water for use in irrigation and to reduce water usage rates.
  4. In two years the water rates have increased as follows:
    • +50%, base consumption rate
    • +31% water consumption rate - lower tier
    • +300% water consumption rate - mid tier 
    • +177% sewage rate
  5. Rates will continue to increase based on the rate increase plan approved by Longwood City Commission.
  6. Homeowners who use large amounts of water for irrigation are being charged the high water rates and sewage rates despite the water not entering the sewer system.
    • Example: Rate increase from 2015 versus 2017 for use of 20K gallons of water is $108.16 vs $187.64, respectively, a 73% increase over a two year period.
  7. The City of Longwood is now be offering an “irrigation meter” solution for reasonable cost which will address the irrigation side of the issue. The Longwood City Code regarding installation of irrigation meters for residential customers has been recently amended in an effort to decrease your monthly sewer bill. This change helps to balance the recent utility system rate increases. The City of Longwood encourages its residential sewer customers to purchase a separate irrigation meter to help with reducing wastewater charges and create conservation benefits. For more information please contact: Jammie Tackett at 407-263-2382 Ext 2. According to Commissioner Weller: "The cost of the meters that the commission approved is $385.00 and any meter installed since October 1, 2016, the user would get refunded the difference for the new cost."
If you have a concern or complaint, please email the City Commission:

John C. Maingot : District 1 Commissioner
Brian D. Sackett : District 5 Commissioner
Ben Paris : District 3 Commissioner
Deputy Mayor Mark Weller : District 4 Commissioner
Mayor Joe Durso : District 2 Commissioner