Water Rates to go up Slightly July 1

Bob McEwen Water Treatment PlantBATAVIA, Ohio (June 10, 2015) – For the first time since 2011, the Clermont County Water Resources Department is raising its water rates effective July 1. The 3.4% increase will raise the average residential bi-monthly water bill by $1.23, from $35.74 to $36.97 for 12,000 gallons of water.

A typical non-residential bill for 36,300 gallons of water bi-monthly will go from $112.31 to $116.17.

The rate increase is necessary to cover rising water treatment costs, said Lyle Bloom, director of the Water Resources Department. “This includes the annual regeneration of the Granular Activated Carbon (GAC) used at the Bob McEwen Water Treatment Plant that treats water from Harsha Lake,” he said.  “The GAC facility removes organic compounds from the drinking water and improves taste and odor. The GAC also provides an additional layer of treatment to remove any cyanobacteria that may be present as a result of harmful algae blooms at Harsha Lake.”  (Harmful algae blooms, known as HAB, have led to posted warnings at Harsha Lake during the last several summers advising against swimming.)

The rate increase will also help support the County’s 5-year Waterworks Capital Improvement Plan, which includes water main replacement projects and an Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI) project that will provide customers with more accurate water meter information and improve customer service, Bloom noted.

Sewer rates will remain the same.

Since 1993, water and sewer fees have increased only incrementally in Clermont County. In 1993, the average combined bill was $84.15; in 2015, the average combined bill will be $90.25. If rates had tracked the Consumer Price Index, the combined bill would now be $133.55, according to the Clermont County Office of Management and Budget.

According to an Ohio EPA survey from September 2014, a Clermont County resident’s annual cost for water and sewer at 7,757 gallons/month is $682.89, substantially below Cincinnati Water Works ($1,188) and Butler County ($834). The Water Resources Department serves approximately 45,000 customers.

(Photo: Interior shot of Bob McEwen Water Treatment Plant.)