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City of Delray Beach Commission Approves Ordinances to Increase Water Rates and Enforce Three-Day Irrigation Schedules

Boca Raton, FL – Water conservation and strengthening infrastructure are two key focus areas for many cities in South Florida and Delray Beach is making notable progress on both fronts. On June 7, 2022, theDelray Beach City Commission approved Ordinances to increase water and wastewater rates and to enforce three-day irrigation schedules.

“Our duty is to have the foresight to plan for the future needs of our community,” said Mayor Shelly Petrolia. “We have made such progress planning for necessary capital improvement projects such as our new water plant. Our water rates have not increased for 13 years, and the rate increases will help fund that project as well as other operational needs, while keeping the average water bill for a Delray Beach homeowner competitive with homeowners in neighboring cities.”

The recommendation to increase the water and sewer rates is the result of an independent rate study conducted by Willdan Financial Services, Inc. The study found that the City’s current water and sewer rates would be insufficient to cover routine operations and maintenance expenses of the system, annual debt service, and other capital-related needs. It was also determined that, under the current water and sewer rates, revenue shortfalls would result in the depletion of cash reserves, so much so that cash reserves would be exhausted by 2026.

The average Delray Beach homeowner uses 6,000 gallons of water per month and the combined average monthly water and wastewater bill is $57.85 per month compared to $81.25 per month, the average monthly bill in surrounding cities. Despite the increases over the next 5 years, the average water bill for a Delray Beach homeowner in 2026 will be $75.66, $5.59 below that of a homeowner in a surrounding city today. To learn more about the City’s water and sewer rates, visit www.delraybeachfl.gov/waterrates.

In addition to capital improvements, conserving water is also a focus area for the City. On February 18, 2020, the South Florida Water Management District notified the City of the need to conserve water resources by implementing water conservation measures that would promote efficient water use and decrease water waste. Most lawns in South Florida only need 3/4-inch to 1 inch of water per week to supplement rainfall.

“Many households have been voluntarily following the three-day irrigation schedule and now, we are hopeful that many more will follow,” said Hassan Hadjimiry. “Conserving water is a top priority for the District and a top priority for our city.”

To avoid fines, Delray Beach residents who use potable water for irrigation, should follow the conservation schedule (odd home addresses water on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Saturdays, and even home addresses water on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Sundays). Ordinance 11-22 went into effect on June 15, 2022, however there is a 90-day grace period, that ends September 15, 2022, to comply. To view more information about the City’s landscape irrigation Ordinance, visit www.delraybeachfl.gov/irrigation.

About The City of Delray Beach

The City of Delray Beach is a charming, vibrant city of dynamic and diverse communities. Fostering an authentic and inspiring community that celebrates its history while building toward the future, the City was an All-America City Winner in 1993, 2001 and 2017, the first city in Florida to do so. The City was named the 5th best city for small businesses in the U.S. by Verizon Business and Coastal Living Magazine named the City America’s Happiest Seaside Town and one of the 10 Best Little Beach Towns in Florida. USA TODAY also named Atlantic Avenue one of America’s 10 Great Shopping Streets. For more information, please visit https://www.delraybeachfl.gov/.

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