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Wed Mar 21, 2018, 04:07 PM

Why Your Water Bill Is Rising Much Faster Than Inflation

Water bills are surging nationwide as utilities try to fix corroded pipes and overflowing sewer systems, leaving many households struggling to pay and in some cases risking shutoffs and home foreclosures.

Bills started rising significantly faster than inflation in the mid-2000s as communities stepped up their repairs of aging water and sewer infrastructure. Over the past decade, the increases have averaged 5.5% a year, more than three times the rate of inflation, according to the Labor Department.

The median household bill for water and sewer service rose to $77 a month in 2016 from about $44 in 2006, a 75% increase, according to surveys by the American Water Works Association, a group representing water providers. Business and industrial customers saw similar increases during that time.

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The country needs to spend $655 billion over the next 20 years to upgrade water and sewer systems, the EPA estimates. Around 240,000 water mains break a year, contributing to $2.6 billion in lost drinking water, according to the agency.

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Most Americans get their water from one of the 52,000 municipal water utilities in the country. Some are government agencies, others are independent, public agencies. About 15% of customers get their water from private operators, according to Manuel Teodoro, a political scientist at Texas A&M University.

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Utilitiesí funding comes almost entirely from their customers, with the U.S. government providing just about 4% of the total. The Trump administration in February proposed increasing federal spending on infrastructure by $200 billion, but it is unclear how much of that would go to water and sewer upgrades.

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Some local governments sell liens from unpaid property taxes and water bills to investors, allowing them to collect the debt from homeowners, often with hefty interest rates. If homeowners donít pay, the investors can foreclose on their homes. In most cases, however, investors are more interested in collecting the debt than in foreclosing on the property.

More..

https://www.wsj.com/articles/who-is-paying-to-fix-outdated-water-and-sewer-systems-you-are-1521106201

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Reply Why Your Water Bill Is Rising Much Faster Than Inflation (Original post)
question everything Mar 2018 OP
Sucha NastyWoman Mar 2018 #1
question everything Mar 2018 #2
Farmer-Rick Mar 2018 #3
Sherman A1 Mar 2018 #4
Nitram Mar 2018 #5

Response to question everything (Original post)

Wed Mar 21, 2018, 04:15 PM

1. My water bill is often higher than my electric bill

It averages about $200 a month

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Response to Sucha NastyWoman (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 21, 2018, 04:26 PM

2. Wow! That's a lot!

We used to have high water bill in California, but not in Minnesota. If there is a drought and we have to water the yard during the summer, bill is higher but I don't think it was every more than $100.


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Response to Sucha NastyWoman (Reply #1)

Wed Mar 21, 2018, 04:34 PM

3. Wow, that's high

I run a farm on about $26 a month here in east TN.

If I was paying $200 a month, I would use that money for a rain collection system or drill a well. I also have a stream on my property that originates from some rocks up in our woods. But it has a sulfur smell that makes me wonder about its real source.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Wed Mar 21, 2018, 05:07 PM

4. I estimate mine to be

About $35.00 now add in the sewer bill and we are right at the average stated.

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Response to question everything (Original post)

Wed Mar 21, 2018, 05:28 PM

5. We have a well.

And Virginia get an average of 44 inches of rain a year. I feel very lucky when I read about what's happening in the midwest and west to the country.

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