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Frequently Asked Questions


Whether you're a new utility customer or have been a customer for many years, we would like to provide you with answers to the questions customers most frequently ask about their water. You may also want to refer to the information available from Wastewater and Water departments.

  • Why is my sewer charge so much higher than water?

    The City of Lakeland Water Utilities is under a legal mandate to upgrade, expand, operate, and maintain its sanitary sewer facilities to comply with state and federal regulations. It is a more expensive process to treat sewage waste than drinking water.

    The operating cost of the sewer system is approximately $26.4 million a year. The sewer treatment process has mostly fixed costs that continue even though you may not use their portion of the service.

    There are 182 Pump Stations and approximately 149 square miles of sewer use area with 331 miles of gravity sewer and 141 miles of force mains.  The system’s renewal, replacement, and rehabilitation program is needed to keep systems operating reliably and to comply with regulations. 

    The City of Lakeland Water Utilities receives no revenue from ad valorem taxes, gasoline taxes, franchise fees, or any support from the County’s general fund. We receive revenue solely from services provided in the community.


  • How do I read my Water Meter?

    The City of Lakeland Water Department's traditional meters look like the one pictured above.

    1. Meter Dial: The dial is partitioned into 10 divisions and looks very similar to a clock.
    2. Meter Register (Odometer): The water meter records your total water use in a similar way as the odometer on your car records miles driven. The reading on your water meter is the total amount of water that has been used by the household since it was installed or replaced. Read the numbers straight across, from left to right. Each turn of a number in the white register indicates that 100 cubic feet (or 748 gallons) of water has passed through the meter.
    3. Sweep Hand: The large red needle on the dial measures water use in cubic feet. The markings at the outer edge of the dial indicate tenths and hundredths of one cubic foot. A complete rotation of the sweep hand equals one cubic foot of water (7.48 gallons). The sweep hand does not move if water is not moving through it.
    4. Low-Flow Indicator: The small red triangle-shaped dial on the meter face rotates as water moves through the water meter. The Low Flow Indicator will rotate with very little water movement. This indicator should not be moving if no water is being used inside or outside your home. If you see that it is rotating, and you’ve shut off the water inside and outside your home, then you probably have a leak.
  • How can I update my Utility Contact Information?

    You can update your contact information by calling Lakeland Electric's Customer Service Line at 863-834-9535.

  • How often is the water tested?
    Monitoring Frequency Parameter
    Continuous, verified hourly Free Chlorine
    Continuous, verified hourly Turbidity
    Continuous, verified hourly Temperature
    Continuous, verified hourly pH
    Continuous, verified every 6 hours Fluoride
    Hourly Color
    Every Two hours Total & Calcium Hardness
    Every Two hours Alkalinity
    Every 12 hours Phosphate
    Each business day Chlorides
    Each business day Ammonia
    Each business day Sulfide
    Each business day Iron
    Once per week Silica
    Once per week Sulfate
    Twice per month Conductivity
    Approximately 130 samples monthly Normal Bacteriological Monitoring in Distribution System
    Quarterly Disinfection Byproducts (Trihalomethanes and Haloacetic acids)
    Annually Nitrate/Nitrite
    Annually Radiologicals (Gross Alpha/Combined Uranium)
    Every Three Years Primary Inorganics
    Every Three Years Volatile Organic Contaminants
    Every Three Years Secondary Contaminants
    2 Quarterly Samples in the same year every three years  Synthetic Organic Contaminants
    Every Three Years Lead and Copper
  • Where can I get Florida-Friendly Landscaping information?

    Florida-Friendly Landscaping is a University of Florida program designed to help residents plant more native and Florida-Friendly plants, but most importantly to conserve water. The City of Lakeland partners closely with Polk County IFAS Extension to promote and educate the public on Florida-Friendly Landscaping concepts. We host a once-a-month workshop called "Learn and Grow" along with other programs throughout the year. 


    University of Florida IFAS Florida-Friendly Landscaping

    Polk County Extension Florida-Friendly Landscaping Program

  • Do I have an irrigation schedule?

    Yes, you do!

    • Lawn watering is limited to no more than twice per week.
    • Lawn watering days and times are as follows unless your city or county has a different schedule or stricter hours in effect:
      • Even addresses may water on Thursday and/or Sunday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
      • Odd addresses may water on Wednesday and/or Saturday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
      • Locations without a discernable address, such as rights-of-way and common areas inside a subdivision, may water on Tuesday and/or Friday before 10 a.m. or after 4 p.m.
    • Hand watering and micro-irrigation of plants (other than lawns) can be done on any day and any time.


  • Do I have designated watering days even if I'm not using City of Lakeland Water?

    If you live within the Southwest Florida Water Management District area, yes. No matter what water supply you are using, Southwest Florida Water Management District (SWFWMD) has a mandatory year-round irrigation schedule. Please keep in mind that local government and SWFWMD can implement stricter measures as needed. If you're unsure if you live within the Southwest Florida Water Management District, please see the map below.

  • I have newly installed lawn and landscape, does the watering schedule still apply?

    New lawns and plants require more water, more frequently when they're first installed. For this reason, there is a "30-30" establishment period in which the irrigation schedule is different than the normal year-round one. If you put in new sod and/or landscape, please keep the dated receipts and invoices for the 60 day establishment period for documentation purposes. This way if you are reported for an irrigation violation, there is documentation proving the plants fall within that establishment period.

    Irrigation regulations of newly installed lawn and landscape: 

    • New lawns and plants have a "30-30" establishment period.
    • On the day of installation, watering is allowed on any day at any time. 
    • During the first 30 days, watering is allowed on any day during the allowable hours. 
    • During the second 30 days, watering is allowed three days per week: even-numbered addresses may water on Tuesday, Thursday and Sunday; odd-numbered addresses may water Monday, Wednesday and Saturday; and locations without a discernable address may water on Tuesday, Friday and Sunday.


  • Are billing credits or adjustments available for filling up my pool?

    No, billing credits or adjustments are not available at this time for filling up a swimming pool.