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City of Tampa homeowners could see increase on utility bill

Homeowners received a notice with information
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Posted at 10:45 PM, Jan 07, 2020
and last updated 2020-01-08 07:53:11-05

TAMPA, Fla. - Homeowners living in the Tampa city limits could see changes to their utility bills this month.

The City of Tampa sent out notices to homeowners regarding the change.

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The City of Tampa Water Department will be purchasing water from Tampa Bay Water, starting in January 2020.

"On Monday, we started purchasing water from Tampa Bay Water to supplement our water demands," said Chuck Weber, Tampa Water Department Director.

Alicia Kanhai received a notice like other city of Tampa homeowners.

"The first thought was just wondering and hoping that everything would be safe for consumption and wondering what the source was," said homeowner Alicia Kanhai.

Due to an increasing demand, the city must purchase water from Tampa Bay Water. Tampa Bay Water is the regional wholesale water supplier for local governments in Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas counties.

The notice said, "Although this water will be blended with the city's primary source water, the Hillsborough River, customers may notice a difference in taste and odor."

"It will be blended with the water coming from the City of Tampa. We monitor the water and test it regularly throughout the day," said Weber.

"The water coming from Tampa Bay Water is a blend of groundwater and surface water. The water coming from the city of Tampa is solely surface water so that blend can have a different taste and odor," added Weber.

Customers will see additional charges on their utility bill. It will be listed as "TBW Pass-Through." The per-unit cost will be calculated from the total cost of the purchases from TBW.

"The pass-through charge will be a rate and it will be based on how much the customers use," said Weber.

We reached out to Tampa Bay Water and they returned with the following comment:

"Tampa Bay Water was created to provide water to all of our member governments including the City of Tampa, and we’re always prepared to do so. So the City buying water to meet increasing water demands was expected. The water delivered to the City and all of our members is high quality. If there’s a difference in aesthetics, it’s because it’s a different mix of water, but it’s safe and high quality," said Brandon Moore, Public Communications Manager for Tampa Bay Water.