WASHINGTON CITY – Washington City residents will soon notice an increase on their water bills as a result of the City Council approving a rate increase Wednesday.
They won’t be the only ones in the county with increased rates, however. Seven other cities will also likely be raising their own rates – if they haven’t already – to compensate for the increasing wholesale cost of water supplied through the Washington County Water Conservancy District.
As it did last year, the water district is set to increase the wholesale cost of water by 10 cents per every 1,000 gallons. This will bring the current rate from 94 cents to $1.04 for the cities which receive water from the Washington County Water Conservancy District. The increase is generally passed on to municipal water users to help their respective cities cover the cost.
“All we’re trying to do is cover our cost we’re paying to the district,” Public Works Director Mike Shaw said.
The council approved a 6-cent rate increase Wednesday that is estimated to add another $1.10-$1.20 to residential utility bills.
The average Washington City home with a 5/8 meter uses between 28,000-30,000 gallons per month, Shaw said. Within that level of use, residents will be paying $1.60 per every 1,000 gallons. That cost is added to the city’s base water rate of $18.25.
The Washington County Water Conservancy District supplies Washington City with 44 percent of its water, Shaw said. That percentage has increased over the years as the city’s populations has increased, he said.
The city is currently looking at ways to increase the capacity of its water treatment plant in order to add to its city-owned water sources, Shaw said.
Revenues collected by the Washington County Water Conservancy District from the increase will be used exclusively to cover the costs related to treatment and deliver water; it will not be used to fund current or future projects, according to water district officials.
The water district’s board of trustees, of which Washington City mayor Ken Neilson is a member, approved the wholesale rate increase earlier this month. It goes into effect July 1.
Previous to last year, the water district’s most recent whole rate increase was in March 2008, Since then water sales have increased 30 percent, utility costs have increased 6 percent and the weighted cost of treatment chemicals has increased 32 percent.
Other cities impacted by the increasing rates include St. George, Hurricane, Ivins, Santa Clara, Toquerville, LaVerkin and Virgin.
Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2017, all rights reserved.