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Water Rates to Increase
Following much discussion and careful consideration, the Board of Trustees voted to approve an increase to the District’s Water Rates at the October 25, 2022, public meeting. After reviewing operating costs and financial projections it was determined an 8% rate increase was necessary to ensure sufficient funds are on hand to pay for increasing expenses and capital projects. Customers will notice the increase beginning with their January 2023 water bill. The impact to the average customer will be $3.37 per month, based upon consumption of 4,500 gallons.
The rate adjustment is the result of ever-increasing costs to produce and deliver quality water. As you are probably aware, prices for utilities, supplies, products, and materials have continued to rise across the country at the highest rate in decades. The same reigns true for the District’s operating expenses including the parts and materials needed to keep our water system running properly and efficiently.
The District is continually tasked with keeping rates low while meeting the demands of aging infrastructure, rising inflation, and regulatory requirements. The District maintains over 650 miles of water mains, two water treatment facilities, twenty-eight water storage tanks and numerous pumping stations throughout the service area.
Customers may offset the rate increase through water conservation, water efficiency and cost-effective payment methods. The District offers free online bill pay for customers who select the electronic check option.
The minimum monthly charge (service availability charge) will increase from $16.80 to $18.15 per month. The usage charge will increase to $6.10 per 1,000 gallons used. If you have questions about the rate increase, your water bill, or other utility questions, please contact the District at 513-863-0828.
Estimated Bills - What is an Estimated Bill and Why Do They Happen?Your billing statement indicates whether your bill is an actual bill or an estimated bill. An estimated bill will state “Water Estimated” in the description. When bills are estimated, the billing software uses a system-generated average based on the previous 12 months of consumption. When the meter is then actually read, an adjustment is made to account for the estimate, and that adjustment will show up in the description with the message “Estimate Adjustment”.
Bills can be estimated for a variety of reasons. Meters are read using radio transmission equipment and occasionally a reading will fail to be transmitted or received. Weather can cause us to fail to be able to read a route or can cause poor data transmission. Software updates to the radio transmitting devices have resulted in a higher volume of estimated meter readings. At the end of 2020, 99.3% of our meter readings were actual. After we apply the software updates to the affected radio transmitting devices, we hope to return to our previous meter reading rate.
When a meter registers more than two consecutive estimated readings for which we have no explanation, we will send out staff to troubleshoot the reading device and make a repair. To be clear, this issue only involves the reading technology, not the accuracy of the meter.
To reliably provide affordable, high quality water to all customers by developing and retaining exceptional staff.
The Southwest Regional Water District Team will continue to develop and sustain the ability to deliver plentiful, high quality water for future generations while remaining customer focused.