2007-02-10 / News

Report says sewer rate increases are declining

COLUMBUS - Ohio EPA's latest annual sewer and water rate survey shows that water and sewer costs in 2005 increased by 2.9 and 2.2 percent respectively.

Both sewer and water rates increased at a rate slightly slower than inflation. The survey compiles information about the annual charges to residential users of sewer and water systems in Ohio.

On average, the annual residential sewer rate in Ohio was $424 ($35.33 per month) in 2005, and the average annual residential water rate was $398 ($33.17 per month). Thirty-two percent of sewer systems and 36 percent of water systems reported a rate increase. Of the 428 municipalities and districts responding to the survey, 256 sewer systems and 253 water systems did not report a rate increase.

Ohio EPA collected rate information from an annual questionnaire sent to 565 municipalities and districts, and received 428 responses, or 76 percent of those surveyed. Annual sewer and water charges were calculated assuming the average level of consumption was three people individually consuming 85 gallons of water each day.

After each annual report is released, Ohio EPA continually updates rate information on the Web site with data from more recent surveys or loan applications, enforcement reports and mis-reported information discovered through inspections. The trends charts in the 2004 report include the most up-todate information, but data may be subject to changes.

The 2006 rate survey will be mailed to participants in February. A copy of the 2005 Ohio EPA Sewer and Water Rate Survey, and related information can be obtained by visiting http://www. epa.state.oh.us/ofa/rate_survey. html. Historical data from 1984- 2005 for more than 500 systems are also available on this Web site. Printed copies are available by e-mail at economic.analysis@ epa.state.oh.us or by calling 614- 644-3760.

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