November 21, 2018
By Cara Spoto
Waukesha — Water and sewer customers in the city will see their quarterly bills increase by roughly 12 percent next year as a result of sewer and “return flow” rate increases slated to take effect on Jan. 1.
Aldermen approved the new rates, which are being put forward to pay for costs related to various sewer upgrades and the Lake Michigan diversion project, during Tuesday’s Common Council meeting.
The vote was 12-0. There was no discussion. Residential sewer rates are currently $6.62 per 1,000 gallons of use, with the average homeowner paying about $94 a quarter for the usage, according to utility data. Homeowners will see that rate increase to $7.25 per 1,000 gallons of use on Jan. 1, bringing the sewer portion of their quarterly bill to about $103.
A presentation made to the Board of Public Works earlier this month noted a number of factors prompting the proposed increase, including projected operating increases of 2.13 percent, and plans to issue $5.4 million in debt to pay for system projects in 2019.
New to bills this year, the residential “return flow” rate is currently 62 cents per 1,000 gallons of use, with the average homeowner paying about $7.50 per quarter for that usage. Homeowners will see that rate increase to $1.85 per 1,000 gallons of use on Jan. 1, bringing that portion of their quarterly bill to about $22.
The “return flow” rate was added to water and sewer bills in June to help finance preliminary costs associated with a $125.6 million pipeline that will return treated water back to Lake Michigan as part of the diversion project.