Water, sewer rates to rise 4 percent in 2013-14
(Oct 25, 2012)
The City of Westminster will be increasing water and sewer rates by 4 percent in 2013 and 2014, with the average residential customer impact of an additional $2.03 per month in 2013 and $2.13 per month in 2014.
This rate adjustment will fund increasing costs for operations and maintenance, and system improvements such as replacing sewer pipe, upgrading components of the water treatment plant and assisting in the protection of the city’s water supply.
The city’s water and wastewater rates continue to remain comparable to those of its neighbors along the Front Range.
As the city reaches build-out, it is important that enough money continues to be available for capital needs such as pipe replacement and wastewater plant upgrades and repairs. In order to fund these needs at an acceptable level, a portion of the funding from water and sewer rates must continue to go toward capital repair.
This strategy, originally adopted by City Council in 2006, continues to ensure that utility customers pay a fair share of upkeep on the system, based upon their demand for water and sewer services. New users connecting to the system (new homes or businesses) will still pay tap fees, but as these connections become fewer and fewer, rates for existing users will fund the vast majority of utility operations and capital improvements.
A good example of this strategy working involves the decrease in water pipeline breaks. In 2006, the city significantly increased its investment in replacing aging water lines. Prior to that, the city averaged around 150 breaks per year, and now that number is around 50-60. The average cost of a water break repair is about $4,000 per incident. By replacing older water lines, the city reduces service interruptions for customers and saves approximately $400,000 over previous levels of water line replacement costs.