Healthy infrastructure is the foundation of a strong city -- which is why the City of Tampa launched the Progressive Infrastructure Plan to Ensure Sustainability (PIPES).
With PIPES, the City of Tampa is investing in Tampa's tomorrow is moving forward with the largest public works project in the City’s history, one that will transform the 100-year-old water and wastewater infrastructure that serves close to 720,000 people.
What is PIPES?
PIPES is $2.9 billion funding plan for large-scale sewer and water infrastructure improvements. It was passed by the Tampa City Council in September 2019 after nearly 10 years without a utility rate increase. The funding plan allows the City to adopt a proactive approach to renew our infrastructure, prevent breakdowns, and provide long-term, permanent fixes to our water and wastewater systems.
- PIPES establishes a schedule of gradual rate increases for water and wastewater services over a 20 year period.
- These increases will eventually align water and wastewater rates with the funding needed to catch up and continuously renew and replace infrastructure as it reaches the end of its useful life.
- In addition to gradually raising usage (consumption) rates, PIPES also implemented a monthly base charge for water and wastewater services.
- Tampa was one of the last municipalities in Florida to implement a base charge.
Relief Available for Vulnerable Households
To help vulnerable households adapt to the rate increase, the City expanded its customer assistance program. Qualifying residential utility customers can apply for the Customer Assistance Program. If approved, all water and wastewater base charges will be waived.
Find PIPES Funded Projects
The Capital Improvement Program Viewer makes it easy to learn about water and wastewater projects that have been funded thanks to PIPES.
Frequently Asked Questions
PIPES was approved by City Council in September 2019 and went into effect later that year. Subsequent increases in water and wastewater rates will take effect every October 1st until October 2040. In addition to increases in consumption (usage) rates, PIPES added monthly base charges to cover fixed costs. The City is one of the last in the state of Florida to implement base charges.
Starting October 1, 2021, the average residential customer, who lives inside the City of Tampa limits, will see their monthly bill change from $51.97 to $57.06. (This does not include Solid Waste charges.)
Base charges will increase as follows:
- Starting FY20: Customers would see new monthly base charges on their bill. These base charges would consist of a $2 base charge each for Water and Wastewater, totaling $4 per month per Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU).
- From FY21 - FY34: Base charges will increase each year at a rate of $2 per month per ERU ($1 for Water and Wastewater).
Consumption charges will increase as follows:
- Water: 3% annual increase (FY20 and FY21), 11% annual increase (FY22-FY25), 6% annual increase for FY26, 1% annually through FY40
- Wastewater: 3% annual increase (FY20-FY31), 4% annual increase through FY40
The City of Tampa’s pipe systems and treatment plants are old and in need of replacement. Some of the equipment and materials are nearly 100 years old. By the time that PIPES was approved by City Council in November 2019, the annual cost to repair broken pipes had reached $20 million. The resulting main breaks and cave-ins created traffic delays and congestion that impacted entire neighborhoods. If pipes that have reached the end of their useful life not replaced, the reactive costs for repairing broken pipes would continue to grow. We would also run the risk of not being able to provide reliable water and wastewater services.
The City did not start installing a large amount of pipe before the 1940s. Most of the pipe installed in the 1940s through the 1960s was cast iron pipe. The pipe has a lifespan of 80 to 100 years. A large replacement program was not needed until recently. The City spent three years analyzing the pipes in our systems and the equipment at the treatment plants to determine what needed to be replaced, when it needed to be replaced, how much it would cost, and how we could fund it.
Despite the recent rate increase, the City of Tampa continues to have the lowest water and wastewater rates for our region.
- Tampa: $598.20
- St. Petersburg: $1,332.84
- Clearwater: $1,436.76
Eligibility criteria for the CAP program:
If you answer yes to all three questions below, you may be able to qualify to participate in CAP.
- Do you reside in a home that is billed by the City of Tampa for water and/or wastewater services?
- Do you fall at or below the 50% median household income limit shown on the table below, as determined by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD)?
- Are you the primary account holder OR have the power of attorney/legal authority for the account holder at that residential service address?
Household Income Limits are based on FY 2022 Fair Market Rent areas and may be subject to change each fiscal year.
|Number of People in the Household||50% Median Household Income Limits for FY 2022|
How to Apply
- Option #1: Apply online by visiting the Neighborly Portal
- Option #2: Apply via mail. You can download the CAP application or call (813) 274-7940 to request that an application to be mailed to you. Hand deliver or mail the completed application with the required attachments to: City of Tampa, Housing & Community Development, Attn: CAP Program, 4900 W. Lemon Street, Tampa, FL 33609.
If your CAP application is approved, you must take the following actions to remain in the program:
- Complete the water conservation requirement by answering a brief survey that’s available online or by mail. A water conservation kit will be mailed to you to help you meet this requirement.
- Complete an annual recertification through the Tampa Housing & Community Development Department.
Wastewater 20-year Project Documents