SAWS Proposes 10.5% Water Rate Increase Over 2018 and 2019
The San Antonio Water System is asking for a 10.5 percent in water rates over a two year period beginning in January. The city council will determine if the proposed rates will go through.
The first would come in 2018 at 5.8 percent and rates would increase again in 2019 at 4.7 percent.
San Antonio Mayor Ron Nirenberg says the increase is necessary to repair aging SAWS infrastructure like sewer pipes.
"We need to ensure we’re keeping up with the maintenance on that infrastructure. In this case there’s additional capital investment to make sure we’re restoring water mains and sewer systems that have been aging and overflowing," he says.
SAWS needs to make nearly $2 billion in repairs to its system and is under a consent decree from the Environmental Protection Agency. District 6 Councilman Greg Brockhouse disagrees with the increase and says SAWS needs to look inward before asking for more money from ratepayers.
“I think they need to be highly efficient I think they need to examine everything from their food budget to their bonus structures; everything before they go and try to ask for more money from any citizen in this city," Brockhouse says.
District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry also expressed he is not in favor of increasing rates.
If the increases go through, the average SAWS home water bill would go from about $62 to $65. The City Council will vote on the new rates on November 9th.