Seattle Public Utilities proposes rate increase for drinking water

The bad economy is forcing Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) to propose a rate increase for drinking water each of the next three years to maintain Seattle’s drinking water system.

According to a release sent out by SPU, the rate for a typical Seattle household would go up between $2.41 per month in 2012 and $2.91 per month by 2014. The rates would be more for commercial customers, depending on usage. Even with the rate increase, SPU says water will still cost less than a penny per gallon.

Drinking water rates pay for:

· Protecting the safety and security of the water supply system.

· Operating two state-of-the-art water treatment facilities.

· Daily testing to maintain drinking water quality.

· Covering open water storage reservoirs in Seattle.

· Maintaining and repairing 1,800 miles of pipeline, 20,000 valves, 180,000 water-service connections, 13 water reservoirs and dozens of pump stations.

· Providing services to help customers manage their bills and resolve problems.

The Seattle City Council will consider the rate proposal over the next few months, with a decision expected by Thanksgiving. The new rates, if approved, would take effect on January 1, 2012.

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