Wichita Proposes Water Rate Hike

By: Jennifer Bocchieri Email
By: Jennifer Bocchieri Email

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Wichita homeowners' may start experiencing sinking spirits as they learn about possible rising rates on their water bills.

Water and sewer bills could go up by $1 each. The city could add another 5% hike in January. This comes on top of the extra $1 charge added last year.

It's news many people don't like to hear.

"You just take a dollar a month and add it to the bill it's not very much. But it's the principle of the thing to me," said Wichitan Jack Allen.

The reason for raising the rates is that 50% of of revenue come from water bills. With the past few springs some of the wettest on record people simply aren't using enough water for the third year in a row.

"It's almost unprecedented for us to have this amount of rain in Wichita," said Water Department Director David Warren.

Besides the weather, the Water Department is also working on big projects including aquifer storage and recovery and a new wastewater plant. To keep getting the funds it needs for those, the department has to make sure it has a certain amount of money in the bank.

"We don't like it but it's the way things are right now and these are things that we have to do and we hope the community will understand and support us," said Warren.

While many won't support the rate hike, others say the upside is it might make people think more about just how much water they are using.

"Just here last night for example my rain gauge showed almost an inch of rain and low and behold some of the neighbors with their automatic sprinkler systems had their water come on," said Allen.

The city council will vote on the latest rate hike on Tuesday.

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