Archive

Archive for the ‘Aqua Utilities’ Category

Oct
02

Aqua Indiana made its case before the Indiana Supreme Court on Thursday that a jury should decide how much the city should pay for its 2002 takeover of the utility’s northern system.

More

 

http://www.journalgazette.net/article/20120928/LOCAL/309289974

Aug
10

Governor Scott appoints 13 members to the Water and Waste Water Study Committee.

 

WaterStudyCommittee

Apr
25

Mar
15

Mar
13

Well written article by Food and Water Watch on Investor Owned Utilities in Illinois.

Click link below for full article:

69501173-Illinois-American-Water-and-Aqua-Illinois-Community-Experiences-with-the-Largest-Investor-Owned-Water-Utilities-in-Illiniois

Feb
18

Setting aside the Florida Public Service Commission’s pathetic attempt to stroke Aqua customers last Tuesday, let us not forget the reason for the season – Aqua Utilities Florida.

In the spotlight – Aqua’s total lack of concern for its customers in the Jasmine Lakes and Palm Terrace service area, in west Pasco County.

How any good corporate citizen can financially RAPE its customers, month after month, and then give them in return, water that no one wants to drink, bathe or wash with,  goes beyond understanding.  And of course, the smell of sewage just adds more insult to injury.

These folks can’t use Aqua’s water, and they can’t afford it, paying some of the highest rates in the State of Florida. Higher than their electric bills.

A significant number of single-parent families and seniors on fixed incomes live in this area. Many of these folks are caught between a rock and a hard place:  they can’t afford to stay there, and they can’t afford to relocate.

Then there’s the other water bill they have to pay – for the water they do drink and cook with.  And going elsewhere to bathe and do laundry is not uncommon.

Is this the best a good corporate citizen can do?  Is willing to do?  Has Aqua done anything of consequence to help these 2,500+ customers?  Ever?  Does this corporate citizen have any compassion for anyone, other than its  stockholders?

I’m not talking about making an effort to help some of their customer base.   “Effort” is a word this company loves to use, when reminding us of all their so-called accomplishments. The fact is, Aqua’s only accomplishments, turn out to be nothing more than effort, and never have anything to do with actually providing any genuine basic service that truly benefits their customers in this service area.

If the customer isn’t satisfied with what they have to drink, cook and bathe with, and the cost is unaffordable, and if the customer doesn’t have the right to use another service provider, and if the government regulator isn’t willing to take a position to protect the customer, wouldn’t a good corporate citizen look at other available alternatives, rather than subject the customer to an unending, unbearable situation?

There is a solution to this problem.  It is very simple, very logical, and even financially sound.  A good corporate citizen would make a good corporate decision – sell this system to Pasco County. The county is interested in acquiring this system, and is more capable of providing better Quality of Service at affordable rates.

A bad corporate decision will probably result in an “eminent domain” action. Let’s pray it doesn’t have to come to that.   A good corporate citizen wouldn’t let it come to that.

Seriously, those of you who are people of faith – please pray.

 

 

Feb
18

A recent customer comment regarding the Final Order given by the Florida Public Service Commission for the Aqua Utilities rate case:

“I like point 31A: Are the resulting rates affordable within the meaning of fair, just and reasonable, pursuant to sections 367.81 and 367.121, Florida Statues?

Recommendation: There is no “affordability” test for setting a utility’s revenue requirement under Chapter 367,F.S.

And yet AFFORDABILITY is in the PCS’s mission statement “The Florida Public Service Commission is committed to making sure that Florida’s consumers receive some of their most essential services — electric, natural gas, telephone, water, and wastewater — in a safe, AFFORDABLE, and reliable manner.”

I believe their “affordability” test must go something like this…….

•Does anyone associated with the PSC live in the affected area? NO
•Are the PSC Commissioners elected officials that need to worry about their job if the people of Florida do not agree with any of their decisions? NO
•Are there enough homeowners living in the affected area that could get them kicked off the PSC? NO
•Does anyone at the PSC care how badly the rate increase will affect the people living in the affected area? NO
•Do members of the PSC get kickbacks from the applying utility? YES”

This customer, like so many others, has a much better understanding of the FPSC’s ”dog and pony show” than many of the public officials inside the Tallahassee “orange grove”.

The FPSC is definitely the biggest JOKE in the State of Florida!  It will be interesting to see if the Florida Legislature cares enough to do something about it.   If not, I would hope to see an ELECTED Public Service Commission take the place of this PUPPET Public Service Commission.

Dave Bussey

 

Feb
18

Aqua officials sent their field techs into our park yesterday, to check on my water, so don’t be surprised to hear them cry “foul”, in the very near future.

For the record, to the best of our recollection:

Peter Linton-Smith, of Channel 13, Fox News, interviewed myself and a few others the day before.  That 45 minute session was edited down to about the 1 minute that was broadcast later that day.  We thought the news clip was excellent, however, clarification needs to be made, regarding one of the statements made by the reporter:

To my knowledge, none of us stated that our water was “undrinkable”.  We did say that there are residents in Aqua’s Zephyr Shores Service Area (eastside of Pasco County), that will not and/or cannot drink the water, and many will not wash clothes with it.  There are two (2) communities in this service area, serving approximately 500 customers.

The water coming into my unit appears to be drinkable, but I filter my water, nonetheless, and I live in an area of the park where the water is constantly moving, which contributes to the appearance of the water.  Also, we met with the reporter at our clubhouse, not at my home.

Residents who live on the outer parts of the park, are still having problems with odor, sediment, and taste. This problem becomes more severe when the seasonal residents go north for the summer, as the amount of usage goes way down.

We also shared the horror stories of Aqua’s Jasmine Lakes and Palm Terrace Service Area (westside of Pasco County) with the reporter.  This area is has about 2,500 customers. The area is economically depressed, perhaps, more than any other area of Pasco County, which is, perhaps, the poorest county in the state.  These customers are suffering the most.  They can’t drink it! And they can’t afford it!

Their water is totally unusable for any purpose other than flushing toilets. The smell of sewage is deplorable. The cost to these customers is extremely high. On top of that, they have to buy additional usable water and go elsewhere to do laundry.

Fox’s news team does an awesome job of reporting, but sometimes things get misplaced in the process of getting a story put together.

And we certainly don’t want Aqua to feel we have mis-represented our statements.

Dave Bussey
FLOW Florida Volunteer and
Aqua Customer
Zephyrhills, FL

Jan
28

HB 1379 goes to the House Energy and Utilities Subcommittee this Tuesday, January 31st, 2012, at 12:30 pm.

Below are the email addresses of all the committee members. Please encourage them to support HB 1379.

Also, encourage your District Senator and Representative to attend this meeting and ask for its passage.

You can send one email (drag, copy and paste all email addresses into address line of a “new” email you’re going to send), or you can click on each individual address and send one at a time.

Ben.Albritton@myfloridahouse.gov
Lori.Berman@myfloridahouse.gov
Jeff.Clemens@myfloridahouse.gov
Janet.Cruz@myfloridahouse.gov
Daniel.Davis@myfloridahouse.gov
Shawn.Harrison@myfloridahouse.gov
Clay.Ingram@myfloridahouse.gov
George.Moraitis@myfloridahouse.gov
Peter.Nehr@myfloridahouse.gov
Kathleen.Passidomo@myfloridahouse.gov
Scott.Plakon@myfloridahouse.gov
Elizabeth.Porter@myfloridahouse.gov
Michelle.Rehwinkel@myfloridahouse.gov
Greg.Steube@myfloridahouse.gov
Alan.Williams@myfloridahouse.gov

Thanks for your support.

Jan
27

The FPSC General Counsel, Curt Kiser, has been notified of the statements made by his predesessor, Booter Imhoff, regarding the Commission’s ability to deny the Aqua Utilities rate case.   In 2009, Mr. Imhoff advised the Commissioners that they had the authority to deny a rate case, if the quality of service was found to be “inefficient”.

The Commissioners downgraded Aqua’s quality of service from “satisfactory” to “marginal”, in May of 2011.   Since then, the Commissioners had to attend formal customer hearings, where they got more than an earful of the awful quality of service Aqua has been subjecting its customers to.

In addition, these Commissioners were presented with an enormous amount of well-documented testimony at the Technical Hearing held this past November.   Testimony that Aqua’s counsel had difficulty refuting.

Inefficient quality of service has been soundly established, and it should be downgraded, even further, to “unsatisfactory”.

It won’t come as a surpise, if the FPSC Staff offers a ‘pro-Aqua’ recommendation to the Commissioners.  Their “don’t ask – don’t tell” attitude has been extremely detrimental when it comes to protecting the customers.   Voluntarily offering important information to the Commissioners seems to have lost its appeal.  Keeping the Commissioners in the dark is a bad policy.

The final order for the current Aqua rate case will be decided on February 14th.  Hopefully, General Counsel Kiser will have no difficulty in bringing to light the vast expanse of the Commission’s ”great discretion”, and its authority to deny a rate case, if the quality of service is inefficient (North Florida Water v. Bevis).