Home | PLUS Advisory Board | Governance | Reports | Water Conservation-Ordinances | Contact Us | Admin | Official County Web

Sunday, February 25, 2018


Check the latest PLUS news! 

Why Radio Read Meters?


While radio-read meters save time collecting home water use data for monthly billing, their primary value is in how they assist PLUS staff in finding and eliminating leaks in the water supply pipe network. Leaks are a major factor in water costs for PLUS and its customers.

PLUS WWTP Operation


The Port LaBelle Utility System operates a 0.5 million gallon per day waste water treatment plant. This facility treats not only the domestic wastewater from PLUS customers but also the concentrate water flowing from the water treatment plant. [PLUS WWTP Permit] [PLUS WWTP Permit Application]

PLUS Water Meters on 4G


PLUS is moving ahead with upgrading its radio read water meters from 3G to 4G technology. The change will improve data transmission between homes and the PLUS central antenna. The PLUS budget will allow 560 of the 1,500 meters to be replaced during 2018.

Acres of Hurricane Debris


Hendry County is using lands behind the PLUS waste water treatment plant to store Hurricane Irma debris before chipping and shipping it to the composting and waste-to-energy facilities. Inspectors estimate the volume of each truck delivering debris. [Image 1] [Image 2] [Image 3] [Image 4] [Image 5]

Delinquent Assessments


PLUS studied the tax lien status of undeveloped lots within its service area. Not all owners are paying their property tax bills and thus not contributing to repayment of PLUS construction loans. This problematic situation has existed since 2008. [Tax Deeds Report]

THM Problem Solved


PLUS purchased and installed new membrane filters for its water treatment plant to remedy the problem of elevated trihalomethane concentrations. THM levels in our drinking water are now consistently in compliance with EPA standards.

Above and Beyond


Risking life and limb to save money for customers, PLUS Assistant Director James Orlinsky, dangled in a crane bucket 150 feet above the ground to install new meter-reading antennas on the tower behind the waste water treatment plant. DIY saved $4000. [Image 1] [Image 2] [Image 3]

12.5% Rate Increase


The PLUS Citizens Advisory Board voted to support staff request for a 12.5% increase in water & wastewater rates. The Hendry BOCC will next consider the request. Needs for plant repairs and pipeline repairs are driving the increase. [Rate Study]

Water Use Permit Renewed


SFWMD renewed for PLUS its Water Use Permit for the next 20 years. Total annual allocation is 194.18 MG and total maximum monthly allocation is 20.40 MG. PLUS met all the conditions required by the law and is permitted to withdraw water from Sandstone aquifer till 2036. [Renewed Permit] [Application Docs]

THMs Standards Failure


DEP cited PLUS with failing to keep byproducts of disinfection (Trihalomethanes) below safety standards. DEP and PLUS say this is not an immediate risk, but until the problem is corrected (by March 2016), those concerned may wish to use alternative sources of drinking water. [SWFL Online] [THMs details]

Water Infrastructure Is Key


Our region invests huge amounts of money in the infrastructure for water supply, but are we prepared to invest comparable amounts on both the maintenance of that infrastructure over time to avoid waste or to clean up and properly dispose of the water after its use? [News Press 1] [News Press 2]

Leak Problems Continue


Some sections of the PLUS potable water distribution system will require replacement. A stretch of pipe can only be patch so many times...and PLUS has exceed that limit in many cases on its HDPE pipe system. [Leak photo]

Boil Water Notice LIFTED


The technical malfunction has been rectified and the boil water notice for Port LaBelle (PLB) area in Hendry County has been lifted. Normal water usage may resume.

Boil Water Notice


Due to a technical malfunction, a boil water notice has been issued for Port LaBelle (PLB) area in Hendry County. All PLB water users are advised to bring drinking water to a rolling boil for at least 1 minute prior to consumption. For further information call 863-675-5376. [Notice details]

Monitoring Wells Changes


PLUS Waste Water Treatment Plant (WWTP) Rapid Infiltration Basins (RIB) monitoring wells network will be modified. The monitoring wells changes will be consistent with groundwater flow gradient measured in 2013 wet season and the 2013-2014 dry season. [Recommendations] [Report]

Effective Utility Management


PLUS is working to develop an organizational profile as part of its Performance Management System in keeping with EPA standards for effective water utility management. [EPA Primer]

GPS Mapping In PLUS


Brazilian students Nelma, Eduardo, Mateus, Bruna & Carla and French student Antoine are mapping the locations of water meters, fire hydrants and pipe valves in PLUS during Jul-Aug 2014. Don't be surprised if you see them searching near your yard looking for the meter boxes. [Student PLUS badges]

No Veto This Year


Hendry County had more than $6 million in water projects vetoed last year. This year Governor Scott vetoed no projects, approving more than $88 million. However, Hendry County did not resubmit its projects this year. [SaintPeterBlog]

PLUS on County Web


Basic facts, contacts, payment options as well as other information about the Port LaBelle Utilities are now displayed at the official Hendry County website. [Official Hendry County Utilities Web Site]

In Your Neighborhood


Nicolas Got, a student from France, is mapping the locations of water meters, fire hydrants and pipe valves in Port LaBelle Utility System during September. Don't be surprised if you see him carrying lots of gear and searching near your yard looking for the meter box. [Nicolas with GPS gear] [Nicolas]

Board Meeting


During its regular meeting, PLUS Advisory Board had 3 actions to recommend: (1) adoption of the PLUS budget, (2) the $1/month increase in the line maintenance fee and (3) submission of a grant request to SFWMD for $115,000 for the DMA leak detection infrastructure.

Annual Drinking Water Quality Report


PLUS presents its "2012 Annual Quality Water Report". This report is designed to inform public about the water quality and services PLUS delivers every day. If you have any questions or concerns, you can call Utility Director, Roger Greer at (863) 675-5376. [Report]

Precautionary Boil Water Notice LIFTED


The boil water notice issued for the Port LaBelle Unit 2 water service area (S of Cowboy Way, N of Helms Rd., E of Forrey Dr. and W of Collingswood Pkwy) on February 28th, 2013 has been lifted. Normal water usage may resume.

Precautionary Boil Water Notice


Due to a water main break, PLUS has issued a "precautionary boil water notice" for those residents in PLB Unit 2, S of Cowboy Way, N of Helms Rd., E of Forrey Dr. and W of Collingswood Pkwy. It is to be effective until Mar 4, unless you hear from PLUS otherwise. [Notice details]

Consequence Analysis Tool


EPA developed the Water Health and Economic Analysis Tool (WHEAT), version 2.0. It is a generalized tool designed for utility owners and operators to supplement their expert opinion in risk assessment methods by providing a more detailed consequence analysis. [WHEAT Fact Sheet] [Video]

Rate Hike


The Hendry County BOCC has authorized a 20% increase in Port LaBelle Utility System water and wastewater rates to be implemented in Feb 2013. The PLUS Advisory Board recommended a 13% increase in rates plus an increase in lot fees. [PLUS Board Recommendation] [PLUS letter]

PLUS Rates Avg. for Region


Although PLUS water and sewer rates may be going up soon, even with an increase of rates Port LaBelle water bills will remain similar to those in other Southwest Florida communities. The City of LaBelle is also facing a potential rate increases. [Comparison Graph]

Liens for Delinquent Accounts


On Dec 11, 2012, the County Commission adopted an ordinance authorizing liens for delinquent PLUS accounts. It is now in effect. Unpaid charges that have been delinquent for 30 days can become a lien on the property. Attached documents are used for the process. [Informational Letter] [Lien Ordinance] [Lien Notice]

PLUS Debt Service


John Capece analyzed county records looking at water utility special assessments and other tax bill costs relative to the market value of empty lots in Port LaBelle. He found that 50% of Banyan lots and 10% of other empty lots are not paying taxes. [Debt Service Briefing] [Debt Service]

History of the PLUS Budget


John Capece presented a history of the PLUS budget to the Citizen Advisory Board. It showed flat income (despite a 2007 rate hike), decreasing O&M costs, and a doubling of debt service costs. These combined fully depleted PLUS cash reserves. [Budget Briefing] [Income] [Expenses]

Public Hearing


The PLUS Advisory Board Public Hearing has been scheduled for January 9, 2013. The Hearing will take place in the BOCC Chamber in the Hendry County Courthouse and starts at 5:30 p.m. Various aspects of PLUS budget and water rates will be presented and discussed there.

Water Costs Higher


Water rates throughout the nation are rising dramatically due to old infrastructure replacement costs and due to successful conservation efforts result in having to charge more per gallon to maintain a constant revenue stream to support the fixed costs of utility operations. [USA Today]

Passing of Harold Reecer


W. Harold Reecer passed away on Saturday, June 23, 2012. He was 82 years old. In addition to over 10 years service on the PLUS Citizens Advisory Board, Harold served Habitat for Humanity, ECHO, Sunshine, Lee Co. Master Gardeners, Port LaBelle Garden Club, Laurel Oaks POA, Barron Water Management Board, and Church of the Good Shepherd. [Church of Good Shepard] [NewsPress] [Reecer Newsletters]

2012 WaterSIP Done


During the implementation of its 2012 SFWMD WaterSIP grant project, PLUS field technicians identified a series of leaks, saving 34 MG of water. The distribution system leakage rate in 2011 was a shocking 27%. After the project, the 2012 leakage rate is down to 9%. [Project Summary] [Water Savings Estimate] [Project Costs]

AMR System Installed


As a part of a SFWMD water conservation grant, PLUS installed a fixed-base Automatic Meter Reading (AMR) system. The system will transmit water meters readings to a central antenna and store these data on a central computer where they will be used to locate water leaks. [AMR schematic] [AMR Project Report] [PowerPoint]

Annual Drinking Water Quality Report


PLUS presents its "2011 Annual Quality Water Report". This report is designed to inform public about the water quality and services PLUS delivers every day. If you have any questions or concerns, you can call Utility Director, Roger Greer at (863) 675-5376. [Report]

WaterSIP grant


SFWMD has offered a grant to Port LaBelle Utility System through the Water Savings Incentive Program (WaterSIP). With this grant, SFWMD seeks to help PLUS solve its persistent problem of leaks in its HDPE (High Density Polyethylene) distribution pipe network. [News Release]

Leaking Pipes Nationwide


Leaky water distribution pipes are a problem nationally, not just in Southwest Florida Port LaBelle. Dr. Sunil Sinha at Virginian Tech University has assembled a database called WATERiD to help understand when pipes might fail in future years. [Details] [WATERiD]

In Remembrance


The longest-service PLUS Advisory Board member and chairman, George W. Davis, passed away on Jun 9, 2011 at the age of 81. He was an original member of the board created in 1997. He oversaw completion of infrastructure to provide water to the entire Port LaBelle service area [Final Board Meeting 12/17/10] [Chairman George W. Davis]

Check Up On Your Water Quality


Your drinking water quality is important to PLUS. Each year, the results from year-round water quality monitoring are released in an annual Drinking Water Quality Report. The 2010 edition of this report is now available.
[Drinking Water Quality Report]

Water Conservation Webinar


As a part of regional webinars, Dr. Damian Adams, Assistant Professor in Natural Resource Economics and Policy Dept. at University of Florida delivered a presentation called "Adoption of Water Conservation Tools: Water Users’ Receptivity to Conservation". [Webinar PDF]

Irrigation Restrictions


SFWMD introduced irrigation regulations for Hendry and Glades counties. Watering is not allowed between 10 AM and 4 PM. Residents and businesses need to comply with the proposed watering days/times schedule according to theirs oddnumbered and evennumbered street addresses. [Schedule] [SFWMD website]

For and About Water Utilities


A variety of information web sites are available to utilities and homeowners documenting water quality facts and utility management guidelines. The primary site is NESC (National Environmental Services Center) in West Virginia. [NESC Web Site] [Montana Web Site] [Technical Assistance Centers]

PLUS Water Treatment Plant


The Port LaBelle Utility System operates a "membrane softening" treatment plant to produce its drinking water supply. It uses nanofiltration technology, which is one step short of reverse osmosis. Combined with chlorine treatment, it provides homes with a safe water supply. [Water Treatment System Options]

The Sandstone Aquifer


Port LaBelle Utility System draws its water from the Sandstone Aquifer located 250 feet below land surface. It is part of what is called the Intermediate Aquifer System. The two other major water-bearing aquifer systems in SW Florida are the Surficial and the Floridan. [Aquifer diagram]

Conservation Strategies For FL Water Utilities


UF/IFAS and OSU scientists examined the relative use of conservation strategies by Florida water utilities and tried to answer questions like "Which strategies are perceived as the most efficient?" and "What challenges do water utilities face in implementing them?" [FE851]

Public Opinion About FL Water Issues


Results of the 2008-2009 UF/IFAS surveys funded by USDA and NIFA about public attitudes and opinions on various water issues in Florida (Actions to Protect Water Resources, Drinking Water Issues, Surface Water and Groundwater Quality), were recently published. [FE841] [FE842] [FE843] [FE844]

Board Members Mandates


Expiration dates for mandates of PLUS advisory board members were set as follows: October 2011 for Han Mouthaan (Glades Co.), Richard Bass (Hendry Co.) and Paul Samerdyke (Hendry Co.); October 2012 for George Davis (Hendry Co.) and Warren Grant (Hendry Co.).

PLUS New Water Use Permit


PLUS received a new water use permit from the South Florida Water Management District to withdraw 204 million gallons per year from the sandstone aquifer, 250 to 300 feet deep. [Water Use Permit] [Review Summary] [Application] [RAI responses 1-4]

City of LaBelle WTP


Thanks to a USDA loan & grant award, the City of LaBelle will soon begin construction of a new water treatment plant to match the quality of the Port LaBelle Water Treatment plant. The quality of potable water in LaBelle has long been a concern. A solution is now on the way. [USDA News release]

Aquifer Storage and Recovery Projects


SFWMD is continuing to study and test the concept of aquifer storage and recovery. The concept is to store summer excess water in the unused saltwater aquifers by creating freshwater bubbles. This stored water is then pumped out again in the dry season for use. [Aquifer Storage and Recovery]

Replacement Well Completed


PLUS received permission from Florida Department of Environmental Protection to construct a new well to replace the old south well that collapsed from age. The new well was completed in June 2008. [FDEP Well Construction Issuance] [FDEP Well Construction Acceptance] [SFWMD Well Construction Acceptance]

Mystery Solved


After months of searching, PLUS staff discovered and repaired a water pipe leak. The leak had grown to almost 200,000 gal/day. The leak evaded detection because the water was moving through a cavern 2 ft high, 5 ft below the ground near 5008 Montrose Ln. [Location of the leak]

Water Fees High, But Average


With $58.68/month charged for 4000 gallons of water, PLUS ranks in the middle of regional utilities. PLUS rates are currently higher than City of Labelle but this could change soon as their rates increase. Some utilities, like Golden Gate, charge more than Labelle or PLUS. [Bill Comparison] [Golden Gate's water fee]

Water and Wastewater Study


Tetra Tech, Inc. reviewed the Hendry County existing user rates and charges for water and wastewater utility services. Budget analysis indicates that a small rate increase is needed and will be considered by the PLUS Advisory Board and Hendry BOCC. [Study]

Annual Drinking WQ Report


PLUS has released "2009 Annual Drinking Water Quality Report" that is designed to inform its customers about the quality of provided water and related services. Constant goal of PLUS is to provide a safe and dependable supply of drinking water. [WQ report]

Tetra Tech, Inc.


PLUS would like to thank Daniel Nelson, V.P. of Tetra Tech, Inc., for the co-sponsorship of its exhibits during 2010 Earth Week in LaBelle. The company provides consulting, engineering and technical services worldwide.

Earth Week 2010


Once again PLUS has taken part in Earth Week in LaBelle. Intelligentsia International interns have delivered presentations on utilities and chlorine removal from tap water to 860 students from Hendry and Glades Counties elementary schools on April 19-22. [Photos] [Flyer for kids] [Flyer for adults]

Banyan Village Report Update


The Banyan Village Special Assessment report has been updated to determine which lots have road pipe frontage and which parcels that do not have access to water could be served in future according to the water line extension project drawings. [Banyan Village Report]



The PLUS Aquifer Parameters Test (APT) analysis conducted by Gerathy & Miller in 1983 reported Sandstone aquifer transmissivity (T) of 119,100 to 298,900 GPD/FT and storativity (S) of 3.0E-4 to 4.7E-4. Recommended values were T = 130,000 GPD/FT and S = 4E-4. [APT Analysis Notes]

Banyan Village Report


A report on the Banyan Village lots (3800 land parcels located in the eastern section of Port Labelle) was revised in order to verify accuracy of the related databases and to determine which lots and parcels are subject to the potable water lines service special assessment. [Banyan Report]

PLUS Service Area


The Hendry County Engineer with assistance from Johnson Engineering has researched the issue and presented a definitive map of the Port LaBelle Utility System service area, as defined in the Feb 11, 2007 interlocal agreement between Hendry County and Glades County. [Service Area Map Detailed] [Service Area Map General] [Interlocal Agreement]

Boil Water Notice Lifted


The boil water notice previously issued for the Port LaBelle Utility Service area in Hendry County has been lifted. The notice was due to a temporary pump malfunction at the water treatment plant. For further information please call Ron Zimmerly at 863-675-5264. [Lifted Notice Details]

Chlorine Removal Research


During a research internship in LaBelle, Mihee Lim studied methods for the removal of residual chlorine from PLUS tap water. Mihee has a masters degree in environmental engineering from South Korea. She spent 6 months with Intelligentsia International on various projects. [Abstract] [Full Report] [Kid's Flyer] [Public Flyer]

New Well Permit


PLUS has been issued a permit from SFWMD for construction of a new well to replace the south well that failed soon after its attempted rehabilitation as part of the new water plant construction project. Tetra Tech secured the permit and will oversee construction of the well.

Annual Water Quality Report


Port LaBelle Utility System routinely monitors for contaminants in your drinking water according to Federal and State laws. If you have any questions about this report or concerning your water utility, please contact Roger Greer at (863) 675 5376. [Test Results Table]

Developments near PLUS


Two new Glades County developments are proposed near the PLUS service area - American Prime II and River Grove. In considering the proposals, agencies have raised water service questions for both.
[Glades Request] [Population] [Map] [SWFRPC] [DEP] [SFWMD]

City of LaBelle THMs


The City of LaBelle Public Works (not the Port LaBelle Utility System) has issued a notice of high levels of trihalomethanes in the drinking water of the city. For more information about the risks and solutions of THMs, see the web site at www.SouthernDataStream.com/thm. [Notice] [Risks and Solutions of THMs]

Lead & Copper Levels


Port LaBelle Utility System conducts regular checks of tap water for high levels of common metals (copper and lead) that can leach from pipes and solder joints. Results show levels below the regulatory levels for Copper (1.3 mg/L) and Lead (0.015 mg/L). [Lead & Copper Test Results]

Kids Flyer for Earth Week


Intelligentsia International student trainees Mihee Lim and Chloe Delhomme under the leadership of Dr. Capece created and presented kids with the chlorine removal from tap water flyer on Earth Week in LaBelle on Apr 22-25. Over 800 students participated in the event. [Student Flyer] [Photos] [Album]

Thank you, Port LaBelle Inn!


Port LaBelle Inn kindly allowed Intelligentsia International student trainees Mihee Lim and Chloe Delhomme the use of Inn facilities for the two-month-long experiments on chlorine removal from tap water. We extend a special thank you to Inn owners Dottie and Richard.

[Photo Gallery]

Central Sewer Planning


Recent newspaper articles have drawn attention to the question of central sewers for the undeveloped units of Port LaBelle. Current policies call for central sewer lines once 33% of lots in a unit have houses.
[Letter to Editor] [Current Density Statistics] [Hendry Glades News] [See Page 2, Item 4]

Getting Out the Chlorine


Are you still buying bottled water, because tap water smells and tastes of chlorine? Well, you can easily remove all the chlorine from Port LaBelle tap water either by letting the sun do the work for free or using store-bought filters. Either way, it's money in the bank. [Flyer] [Technical Report]

Harold Reecer Award


After 11 years of service on the PLUS Citizen Advisory Board, Harold Reecer has retired from service. Harold was presented with an appreciation plaque from PLUS Director Roger Greer and a congratulatory proclamation from Hendry County Commission Chair Janet Taylor. [Photo Gallery]

Drugs in Drinking Water


A vast array of pharmaceuticals have been found in the drinking water supplies of at least 41 million Americans. However, because the PLUS water comes from deep under ground, it is far less vulnerable to contamination compared to communities that rely on surface waters.
[Associated Press] [NaplesNews]

Report to Glades County


The PLUS report submitted on Feb 12, by Han Mouthaan, Glades Co. appointee to the PLUS Advisory Board, encompasses the recent completion of 2 major projects: construction of a water treatment plant; & construction of a transmission & service pipe network for Banyan Village. [PLUS Report]

Reecer Newsletter Archive


From 1996 to 2006, long-time Citizens Advisory Board member and chairman W. Harold Reecer produced 43 newsletters sent to Port LaBelle lot owners throughout the nation. An archive containing most of these newsletters has been assembled and posted for public information. [Newsletter Archive]

Your Water Quality


The new water treatment plant delivers top quality drinking water. Compared to the New York City water supply (rated as best in the nation), Port LaBelle is now just as good. Watch for future news from PLUS on how you can remove the excess chlorine taste & save money.
[Test Results] [Compared to NYC] [Results Interpreting] [Hardness]

Concentrate Water Available


The PLUS potable water treatment plant generates almost 150,000 gallons/day of concentrate (reject) water from its membrane softening process. The utility is now actively seeking customers for this relatively good water, which contains 125 mg/L chloride and 1300 ppm TDS
[Lab Results] [Pipeline Map]

PLUS Customers Use Less


Port LaBelle water users are among the most efficient in the state. Our avg daily water use is 85 gallons of potable water per person. To deliver this "finished" water the PLUS treatment plant uses 121 gallons of "raw" groundwater. [PalmBeachPost]

Water Conservation Web Site


South Floridians have a new online tool for learning about ways to save water and help protect our region's most valuable resource. The South Florida Water Management District has launched a comprehensive web site, providing a one-stop-shop for information. [More Info.] [Website]

Hendry County Planning


The Hendry County Planning Office is performing an Evaluation and Assessment Report (EAR)project for its Comprehensive Land Use Plan that will chart a direction for the county and watershed for the coming decades. [Outline Letter]

10-Year Facilities Plan


New Service Applications


Developers and landowners seeking to apply for water service to parcels other than existing single-family residential lots are required to submit an application. Water use demands are to be determined using PLUS standard methods.
[Form] [Consumtion Rates] [Application]

Draft Population Study


A draft report has been completed forecasting Port LaBelle's population and water use growth. Estimates are that the current 0.9 mgd plant will be sufficient until 2017 and its expansion to 1.8 mgd sufficient through 2027. [Draft Study]

New Water Treatment Plant


The new Port LaBelle Utility System membrane softening treatment plant started operations on Thursday, July 26, 2007. The old treatment plant will be working alongside the new facility as the utility gradually transitions away from its old lime softening system. [Announcement] [Chloramine vs. Chlorine] [Type of Plants] [Photos]

New Water Rates


PLUS plans to undertake an economic analysis of its current rate and fees to determine if they are adequate to cover current and future costs of the utility. Also under consideration (countywide) is a water utility impact fee. [New Water Rates]

© Copyright Southern Datastream Inc. 2005