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Seattle water rates could increase 25 percent by 2014

Justin Baeder
Fountain at Seattle's Volunteer Park. 7/16/2006

Seattle Public Utilities (SPU) is proposing a 25 percent hike in drinking water rates spread over the next three years. SPU says the typical monthly household bill is currently $31.70. The proposal would increase that monthly bill by $2.41 in 2012, $2.68 in 2013 and $2.91 in 2014.

The utility says the rate increases are in line with other U.S. cities, which are raising rates by an average of 9.4 percent each year.

The rate hike will be considered by the Seattle City Council this summer and fall, with a decision expected by Thanksgiving.

According to SPU, water fees 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.