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Backflow Prevention 101

Apr 25, 2019

Recently you may have received a letter from us requiring that you install a backflow preventer. 

A backflow preventer is required in a situation where there could be cross contamination between a public water system & well water.  This is called a cross-connection. A cross-connection can result in the backflow of hazardous materials into the water pipes where you live and draw the contaminated water into the system. 

Watch a helpful video from the American Water Works Association:




To prevent cross-connection, a backflow prevention device is installed onto a pipe to only allow water to flow in one direction. Think of it as a one-way gate that allows water to flow into your home’s piping, but stops water if it ever starts to flow back towards the local water supply.

Please visit our cross-connection/backflow prevention page on our website for more information.

Please know, this requirement is to protect our customers. We thank you in advance for your cooperation and assistance. 

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Cross Connection Control Department at (407) 260-5065 x 3 or by email at FLbackflow@uiwater.com 

 


Save Water (and Money) With a Rain Barrel!

Mar 29, 2019

rainbarrel

When spring showers start to fall, installing a rain barrel will help you save water and money, too. 

Rain barrels can provide Florida homeowners with over 50 gallons of free water for their landscape each time it fills up. You can connect additional rain barrels or install an underground cistern to store even more! Rain barrels also help reduce stormwater runoff that can contribute to flooding and erosion.

You can make your own rain barrel or purchase one. Get started by carefully drilling a hole near the bottom of your barrel. Using 2 rubber washers and 2 metal washers, secure a spigot and ensure a watertight seal in the hole you have created. Then cut a hole in the lid. This is will allow rainwater to run directly from your home's downspout into the barrel. Drill a second small hole at the top to allow excess water to overflow. Next, seal the lid to the barrel with tape or landscaping fabric. Finally, put it into place in your yard. Positioning it on a raised platform will help give more water pressure if you connect it to a hose or want to fill up watering cans. With your rain barrel in place you can now enjoy economical watering all season long! 

With your rain barrel in place you can now enjoy economical watering all season long! 

Visit the Florida Friendly Landscaping website for more information to get started. 
 

When spring showers start to fall, installing a rain barrel will help you save water and money, too! 
You can make your own rain barrel or purchase one. Get started by carefully drilling a hole near the bottom of your barrel. Using 2 rubber washers and 2 metal washers, secure a spigot and ensure a watertight seal in the hole you have created. Then cut a hole in the lid. This is will allow rainwater to run directly from your home's downspout into the barrel. Drill a second small hole at the top to allow excess water to overflow. Next, seal the lid to the barrel with tape or landscaping fabric. Finally, put it into place in your yard. Positioning it on a raised platform will help give more water pressure if you connect it to a hose or want to fill up watering cans. With your rain barrel in place you can now enjoy economical watering all season long! 

How to Find and Fix Household Leaks

Mar 18, 2019

faucet

Did you know that an average household's plumbing leaks can account for nearly 10,000 gallons of water being wasted each year? This adds up to almost 1 trillion gallons of water being wasted annually nationwide! Easy-to-fix leaks around your house could be wasting 90 gallons of water or more, every day.

Fixing easily corrected water leaks can save homeowners about 10 percent on their water bills. So how do you know if your home hides costly and wasteful leaks? Here's a list of tips from the EPA.

1. Check your utility bill: Try examining your utility bill for January or February. It’s likely that a family of four has a serious leak problem if its winter water use exceeds 10,000 gallons (or 13.4 CCF) per month. You can also look for spikes - is your water use a lot higher this month than it was last month?

2. Read your water meter: Find your water meter, which is usually near the curb in front of your home but can be inside your home (e.g., in the basement) in cold climates. Use a screwdriver to remove the lid on your meter, which is heavy and usually marked “water.” Now that you’ve found the meter, take a reading during a period when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same after two hours, you probably have a leak.

3. Test your toilet: Put a few drops of food coloring into the tank at the back of your toilet and let it sit for 10 minutes. If the color shows up in your bowl, you have a leak. Make sure to flush afterward to avoid staining, and consider replacing your old toilet flapper if it is torn or worn.

4. Water world: Examine faucet gaskets and pipe fittings for any water on the outside of the pipe to check for surface leaks. Another telltale sign of a leak is decreased or inconsistent water pressure. If you notice a problem with your faucets, call a plumber.

5. Pipe problems: The pipes that deliver your water are a common source of leaks. If you own an older home, it is more likely to have plumbing problems. Replace galvanized pipes with plastic if possible, and insulate exposed pipes and those in the attic or basement if possible. Pipes can break or crack with age, pressure, or freezing.

Leaks are often easy to fix, requiring only a few tools and hardware that can pay for themselves in water savings. Adding new WaterSense labeled fixtures and other high-efficiency appliances will help further improve your home's water usage.

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Utilities, Inc. of Florida Provides New Customer Service Tool

Mar 11, 2019

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Altamonte Springs, FL – Digital technology underpins almost every aspect of our lives. Mobile phones and social media are now inextricably woven into our culture; from scrolling Instagram to sending Skype messages, today we primarily communicate using tools that were beyond imagination just a decade ago.

Until recently, many utility companies were reluctant to confront this digital transformation. Customers were typically satisfied with hearing as little as possible from their water or power provider, but a new generation of users and the wider adoption of connected devices has disrupted this traditional relationship. Online access to information is a part of evolving customer demand for more dynamic, two-way communication with their utility provider.

Taking this into consideration, Utilities, Inc. of Florida has partnered with Smart Energy Water to develop MyUtilityConnect: our new mobile app and customer web portal. With MyUtilityConnect, users can sign up for bill reminders, report service outages and receive planned outage notifications, view their current and historical usage data, access their account information and process payments. Also featured are tips on how to reduce water consumption and develop better water usage habits. By meeting users where they are – online and on their phones – we can provide more efficient, accessible and transparent customer care.

John Hoy, President of Utilities, Inc. of Florida, announced the launch of the new program. “We’ve heard from our customers, and we know that they have come to expect better communication portals. We need to have capabilities that connect us in real-time. Providing safe, reliable service is extremely important to us, as is connecting with our customers and their communities. MyUtilityConnect will allow us to have that opportunity,” he said. 

MyUtilityConnect is a convenient, single-window digital solution. It leverages the benefits of both availability and personalization; options within the portal and mobile app allow customers to choose the levels of support they need and modify their experience accordingly. From the app and portal, it’s possible to make a payment securely at any time of day or monitor the status of a service outage via GPS. Push notification alerts reduce information “shocks”, diminishing the burden on call center teams.

In today’s competitive utility environment there is a clear opportunity for improving customer service with mobile offerings. In a 2017 JD Power survey, satisfaction with customer service delivered via mobile app ranked higher than any other digital method. 

“While use of mobile apps from utility companies is still relatively low, usage is clearly on the rise, reflecting the increasingly mobile nature in which customers interact with their utility,” said Andrew Heath, senior director of the utility and infrastructure practice at J.D. Power. “Expectations are set by industries like financial services that have made mobile account access essential tools for customers. It’s important for utilities to understand how customers want to communicate with them and, in turn, customize their apps and websites to meet those needs.”

Leesa Lee, head of marketing for Bidgely, a utility data disaggregator and smart phone app provider, agrees. “Most utilities have to start building engagement, and personalized information, tips, and alerts through an app is a great way to do it,” she said.

Self-service via mobile app or web portal offers another layer of benefits, not just for the customer, but for the utility company as well. Each click is a chance to build a better understanding of our customer base. Gathering a range of quantifiable metrics, the MyUtilityConnect analytics module is a framework for measuring levels of customer interaction, interest, and engagement in the tools available to them. With this information in hand we are equipped to pursue more initiatives that generate real value for customers.

Customers today have higher expectations for their utility providers and prefer engagement through digital channels. Offering user-specific information on the MyUtilityConnect app and web portal can help customer trust and satisfaction with our services. As we move into the first phase of launching this new tool, we are excited to take a meaningful step towards delivering a long-term digital solution that our customers value and employees can be proud of.

 

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About Utilities Inc. of Florida: Utilities Inc. of Florida provides safe, reliable and cost-effective service to customers across Florida while acting with integrity and protecting the environment.  We are focused on making an impact by not only serving communities throughout Florida but being an active partner in those communities. 


Our Facebook and Twitter are Now LIVE!

Aug 30, 2018
Utilities, Inc. of Florida is now on social media!  Customers can now look for information concerning a wide range of announcements using our social media pages.  

Updates on water repairs, capital projects, Employee news, tips and facts on water related conservation, sustainable programs, and many other topics can be found on our Facebook and Twitter with the username @MyUIFlorida.

Just click on any of the icons (below the Pay Your Bill Tab on the top right) and follow UIF!  

Take a moment to learn more about your water and wastewater provider. We look forward to hearing from you!

August is Water Quality Month

Aug 27, 2018

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We need to work together to ensure our waterways are healthy, valued, and productive resources for future generations.

Click the following links for additional information and more ways to get involved:


- https://www.npca.org/articles/98-focus-on-water-celebrating-national-water-quality-month

- https://www.americandisposal.com/blog/august-is-water-quality-month

- https://www.clickorlando.com/water/things-you-can-do-to-help-conserve-protect-floridas-precious-water-supply

And don't forget to read the Water Quality Report for your area!