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January 29, 2013 > Water district announces rate Increase

Water district announces rate Increase

Submitted By Frank Jahn

At its meeting on January 10, the Alameda County Water District Board of Directors adopted new rates which will become effective February 1, 2013. The increase will improve water supply reliability and fire protection by funding seismic improvements and the replacement of deteriorating water mains in the Tri-City area.

Beginning February 1, 2013, the service charge on the bimonthly water bill will increase by 100 percent, from $14.93 to $29.86, for customers with a 5/8 or 3/4 inch meter. The service charge is designed to recover costs which provide benefit to all and which do not vary with consumption.

For the average residential customer using 23 units bimonthly (about 283 gallons per day), the new service charge will result in a total billing increase of about 17.1% over rates in effect during 2012.

The bimonthly commodity rate is not increasing, remaining at $3.152 per unit (one unit is equivalent to 748 gallons).

The increased rates will help fund the Main Replacement and Seismic Retrofit Programs, which have an estimated annual cost of $10 million. The programs will replace water mains that are nearing the end of their lifespan and strengthen infrastructure along the Hayward Fault to reduce water service interruptions that could impact the entire Tri-City area should a major earthquake occur. The minimum overall price tag for the projects is $400 million.

"The decision to increase rates is not one the District takes lightly," said ACWD Board President James Gunther. "But with 20% of our water mains over 50 years old and a distribution system that is vulnerable to earthquakes, additional revenue is needed to safeguard our water supplies," added Gunther.

As ACWD's new rates go in effect, they continue to rank among the lowest in the Bay Area.

For more information on ACWD, visit www.acwd.org or call (510) 668-4200.

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