The City of Palm Bay Utilities Department operates as an Enterprise Fund directly under the City government with management and administration provided through City staff. The Utilities Department is an ISO 14001:2015 certified utility that provides water, wastewater, and reclaimed water services to residents of Palm Bay and the Town of Malabar.
PBUD successfully completed its fourth certification audit of the Department’s Environmental Management System (EMS) by demonstrating compliance with the ISO 14001:2015 standard. PBUD was the first water and wastewater utility (public or private) in the state of Florida to be certified under the internationally recognized ISO 14001:2004 standard in 2008 and is the second registered ISO 14001 Utility in the state to obtain the latest 2015 certification. ISO 14001 is an internationally agreed standard that sets out the requirements for an environmental management system. It helps organizations improve their environmental performance through efficient use of resources and reduction of waste, gaining a competitive advantage and the trust of stakeholders.
The audit was conducted by NSF-International Strategic Registrations. It consisted of site visits, evaluations of internal procedures, and interviews with employees and contractors regarding their knowledge of the organization’s EMS known as GreenWay. The audit was successful, resulting in PBUD receiving ISO 14001:2015 certification of its environmental management system through 2020.
PBUD has shown great success in training throughout all levels of staff. The training processes were determined to be highly effective, based on interviews with Department personnel, training records, and general training materials. Palm Bay Utilities has established and continued with an emergency plan within the organization. The department includes a National Environmental Lab Accreditation Certificate (NELAC) laboratory for water sampling. PBUD created the Integrated Systems Management Team to administer and develop continuous improvement programs that enhance the overall performance of the EMS, health, and safety, and sustainability efforts of the department’s operations.
The final report concludes “PBUD demonstrated their strong commitment to implement and improve their environmental management system. Top management is fully involved and supports the GreenWay Program in the improvement of effective communications for environmental policy affecting employees and contractors.”
Palm Bay Utilities Water Treatment
The city operates two utilities campuses with a total of four water treatment plants (including one Aquifer Storage and Recovery well) capable of providing up to 15.5 million gallons per day (MGD) of potable water. Palm Bay receives its water supply from groundwater drawn from 41 wells located throughout the city. These wells pull from the Floridan aquifers. The raw water is treated through reverse osmosis and lime-softening processes, then disinfected and distributed across 595 miles of water lines to customers.
The City of Palm Bay’s water source is groundwater that is obtained from 42 wells located throughout the City. These raw water wells provide water to Palm Bay Utilities Department’s two water treatment facilities. The water collected by our wells is drawn from the Floridan Aquifer at a depth of 850 feet and surficial aquifers at a depth ranging from 80 to 150 feet. Palm Bay Utilities Department treats the raw water from its wells using processes known as lime-softening and reverse osmosis. Once treated, the water is chlorinated for disinfection purposes before entering our distribution system and pumped out across the City to reach our customers.
PBUD also operates a wastewater and a water reclamation plant; the combined treatment capacity for these two facilities is 5.2 MGD. The utility provides sanitary sewer service to approximately 40,000 residents (over 15,000 accounts) through 105 lift stations, 202 miles of sanitary sewer gravity mains, 2,500 manholes, and 58 miles of force main. Additionally, there are nine miles of reclaimed water distribution lines, providing service to several businesses, residents, and a local park for irrigation and beneficial reuse purposes. The Department has also completed the design for a new water reclamation plant to meet future beneficial reuse demands throughout the southern portion of the City.
PBUD’s workforce is comprised of highly skilled and trained employees. The Utilities Director provides leadership for the organization which is divided into four distinct divisions which include: (1) Distribution, Collections & Maintenance, (2) Business Operations, (3) Engineering and Plant Operations, and (4) Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Palm Bay Utilities provides superior drinking water and advanced treatment and disposal of wastewater through an effective utility system while reflecting responsible environmental stewardship and striving for 100% customer satisfaction.
The Palm Bay Utilities Department will strive to:
- plan and develop infrastructure for growth
- upgrade existing infrastructure
- preserve water resources through conservation and reuse
- provide a financially sound utility system
- become a world class utility organization
- provide the best and safest workforce
- upgrade technology
The Utilities Advisory Board (UAB) is appointed by the City Council and is composed of five members with varying term limits. The purpose of the UAB is to advise and assist the City Council, City Manager, and city staff on matters pertaining to the construction, extension, and expansion of the water and wastewater utility systems within the current and future corporate boundaries of the City of Palm Bay. UAB members must be residents and qualified voters of the City. Three of the board members must be utilities customers. City officials cannot be appointed to this board.
The Palm Bay Utilities Advisory Board meets the 4th Thursday of each month at 6:30 p.m. Meetings are usually held in the Conference Room of the Utilities Department’s Administration Building located at 250 Osmosis Drive SE.