Residents often experience a rise in the cost of water for their homes. Find out how to keep your utility costs down if this happens to you.
An increase in suburban Washington water rates could mean noticeably higher utility bills for those living in Maryland’s Montgomery and Prince George's counties.
Recently the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission added about $12.60 to the typical customer quarterly bill, which is about $4.20 per month.
In addition, there is a one percent water usage rate increase.
The increases are part of the commission’s new budget.
“This budget reflects our mission of delivering clean water to our customers, and treating wastewater in order to maintain and enhance our environment,” says Jerry N. Johnson, general manager of WSSC.
Washington and its suburbs are not alone in raising water rates as costs to deliver that water continue to increase across the nation.
Bathroom water-saving tips
If you're looking to keep your bill down, or are just interested in becoming more environmentally friendly by conserving water, then the first place to start is your bathroom.
This is where most of the home's water is used — making it the place where WSSC suggests you can save the most.
Use a low-flow shower head, flow restrictor or cut-off valve, which allows you to shut off water at the shower head while soaping up and shampooing without changing the faucet setting.
Consider installing a low-flow toilet.
Promptly repair leaks and drips.
Try a faucet aerator for your sink to reduce the amount of water used.
Fill your sink bowl with water instead of letting water run when you wash, brush your teeth or shave.
Why the water charge increase in Maryland?
Even if you keep your water bills low after the rate increase, many customers want to know why there's an increase in charges.
According to WSSC officials, it's to continue the rehabilitation of the aging water and sewer pipelines in WSSC’s system.
“We are meeting our goals of replacing 55 miles of small water mains each year and repairing and replacing sewer pipelines,” Johnson says.
In tandem with the rate increase, WSSC has started a Customer Assistance Program for those who can qualify for financial help to offset their bills.
The new budget and the aid program help “ensure that our infrastructure will be able to provide water to our customers in the future, while assisting those who can least afford higher costs,” Johnson says.