Sunday, the city of Waco will see a water rate increase, the first in five years.
City officials say the increase is vital in maintaining city water safety. Waco Spokesperson, Larry Holze, said the increases will go toward funding an almost $321 million capital improvement plan.
"The typical costumer will use 8000 gallons per month and about 5000 gallons of waste water. Those customers are probably going to see a $9 or a little bit more increase," Holze said. The customer who uses that much water currently pays $67 a month, next month for that same amount of water, they will pay $76.
Officials said that while they know an increase may make people unhappy, Waco has some of the lowest rates. A survey conducted by the city found that Waco has significantly lower rates than neighboring Robinson, Hewitt, and Lorena.
There currently aren't problems with the city's water and Holze says the increases will maintain the quality of water in the city. The extra money will pay for water system improvements like treatment plant upgrades.
"The 100 year old ground storage that's over by Hillcrest, some of those have old timbers supporting it. This is infrastructure that has to be replaced and other things that's more difficult, some of the pipes and things." Holze said their overall goal is to keep the quality of water people have come to know.
Some of the projects have already started. In October, the city shut down the Owen Lane water tower in order to work on improving capacity. While much of the work may not be visible, the city of Waco has made it easy to track online.
The city's website has a list of them including their cost and timeline to completion.
"Some of the pipes, they're old- 80, 90, 100 years old. We can't continue to provide quality, dependable service that way so we are going to fix that," Holze said.
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