Watertown residents will not be getting an increase in their water rates, but the cost of sewer rates will rise slightly, the town’s water/sewer consultant recommended.
The Town Council received the Fiscal 2017 Water/Sewer report Tuesday night from Chris Woodcock of Woodcock and Associates, who recommended an overall increase of 1.7 percent over this year’s rates.
“I have good news and bad news,” Woodcock said. “Usually I only have bad news.”
The total expenses projected for Fiscal 2017 (which begins July 1, 2016), are $6.8 million, but the revenues are projected to be $6.9 million, Woodcock said. On the sewer side, revenues will be $9.7 million, but revenues will be $9.4 million.
A customer who uses 200 gallons a day the rate will go up from $320.37 to $325.87.
“That is only a 6 cents per day increase,” Woodcock said.
The biggest portion of the cost for both water and sewer are the fees charged to the town by the MWRA – $3.3 million for water and $6 million for sewer.
Woodcock said he was asked by a member of the Council last year to look at the impact of use by the new developments coming into town. He said he projects more water use.
“The good news it will help to keep water rates down,” Woodcock said. “But two years from now we will be talking about a possible increase.”
One of the ways to cut down the sewer rates is to cut down the amount of leaks in sewer pipes allowing more water in and thus sending more water two be treated, Woodcock said.
The Department of Public Works has a program to search for leaks, called the inflow and infiltration program.
The Council will set the water and sewer rates at a future meeting.