State Agencies Supporting Water System Partnerships
Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP)
State Policies and Programs Regarding Water System Partnerships
DWSRF PRIORITIZATION OF CONSOLIDATION PROJECTS
Encouraging the consolidation and regionalization of PWSs that lack TMF capacity is a long-term goal of the Florida DWSRF. FDEP actively encourages consolidation by allowing certain types of system consolidation, particularly when one of the systems is small and financially disadvantaged, be eligible for loan subsidy.
Where allowed by the rules, Contract Operators can be under contract for the operation of several plants. Florida contracted with the Florida Rural Water Association to develop a Contract Operators Checklist with duties, assignments, and responsibilities that may want to be considered when establishing a contract between an operator and system owner, including the number of visits per week that the operator will make to the system.
NEW SYSTEMS MUST CONSIDER INTERCONNECTION TO EXISTING SYSTEMS
FDEP is not authorized to prevent the construction of a new system based solely on the availability of alternative means to provide service in the area. However, new systems must demonstrate using DEP Form 62-555.900(20) that they investigated and considered alternate means of providing water service. This is reviewed by the Capacity Development Program (see box below).
Florida's Water/Wastewater Agency Response Network (FlaWARN) is the formalized system of "utilities helping utilities" to address mutual aid during emergency situations (www.flawarn.org). These incidents may be man-made or a result of a natural disaster. The project's infrastructure consists of a secure web-based database of available resources and a practical mutual aid agreement designed to expedite the process in the event of an emergency. The goal of FlaWARN is to provide immediate assistance to impacted utilities until such time that a permanent solution may be implemented.
FDEP recommends that new system owners consider the following questions:
1.Are there any other utilities close to the service area of your proposed system? If so, what are their names and locations?
2.Are there any utilities able to provide service to all or part of the service area of your proposed system? If so, what are their names and locations?
3.How did you determine which utilities are close to the service area of your proposed system, and which utilities might be able to provide service to all or part of the service area of your proposed system? (e.g. talked with city representative, drove through the area and looked for water systems)
It is recommended that the owner attach an explanation to the completed DEP Form 62-555.900(20) with a description of the TMF reasons for starting a new system if regional water utilities might be able to provide service to all or part of the proposed service area. Florida also encourages new systems to communicate with neighboring PWSs even if they don’t plan to connect because in some cases, PWSs near to proposed service areas may be available to assist the new system temporarily.
Helpful Links to State Resources
- Drinking Water Program: https://www.dep.state.fl.us/water/source-drinking-waterdrinkingwater/
- Operator Certification Handbook: https://www.dep.state.fl.us/file/8354/download?token=gsZ3EUUx
- Contract Operations Checklist: https://floridadep.gov/water/source-drinking-water/documents/contract-operations-checklist
- DWSRF: https://www.dep.state.fl.us/WRA/SRF