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Frequently Asked Questions

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Do the regulatory agencies have anything to do with CCUA’s decision to plan for AWS?

The State of Florida through the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP), the SJRWMD, and the SRWMD have adopted regulations the affect the Clay County Utility Authority’s (CCUA) utilization of the upper Floridan Aquifer as a public water supply in future years. The adopted regulations are called Minimum Flows and Levels (MFL’s). The MFL’s currently adopted by the State of Florida are listed below.

  • The Lower Santa Fe River and the Ichetucknee Rivers & Associated Springs (effective date June 10, 2015)
  • Lake Brooklyn (effective date January 17, 1996; currently under re-evaluation)
  • Lake Geneva (effective date January 17, 1996; currently under re-evaluation)
  • Lake Cowpen (effective date November 4, 1998; currently under re-evaluation)

Each of these MFL’s will require CCUA to evaluate and then mitigate the impacts from pumping water from the Floridan aquifer to support the population served by CCUA. Mitigation of the impacts to the Floridan aquifer will be through the implementation of AWS. If CCUA elects not to address aquifer impacts from pumping with our own AWS projects, the SJRWMD will likely require CCUA, through the Consumptive Use Permit (CUP) renewal process, to contribute to projects within the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan. Contributions to SJRWMD projects may or may not serve the utility’s rate payers.

The SJRWMD and SRWMD are currently proceeding with the development of the North Florida Regional Water Supply Plan. The last Water Supply Plan was completed in 2005 with a fourth addendum completed in 2009. The water management districts evaluate the potential water supply needs for the next 20 years. If the water management districts determine through the water supply planning process that the natural resources available are not sufficient to meet the future demands, they can identify areas potentially affected by water resource shortfalls as “Priority Water Resource Caution Areas.” Designating an area as a “Priority Water Resource Caution Areas” can have a significant economic impact on the local community. Evaluation and implementation of AWS will aid Clay County and its residents in avoiding regulatory restrictions and designations that may have negative impacts on the local community.

Beyond the MFL and water supply regulations, municipalities and utilities are faced with other regulations which include, but are not limited to, Total Maximum Daily Loads, the Numeric Nutrient Criteria, and the Human Health Criteria to name a few. Opening new water supplies for utilization as AWS may require advanced treatment processes, but utilizing these new water supplies will aid us in addressing many of these other regulations.