A number of factors contribute to water bill increases. The primary reasons include the need to repair and/or replace aging water system infrastructure (the tens of thousands of miles of pipes buried underground)
While substantial federal support had been available for water and wastewater infrastructure in the past, this support has dropped significantly in recent years. This leaves the costs associated with maintaining and expanding drinking water systems to the utilities and their ratepayers.
Water utilities, and their customers, face an enormous price to replace old pipes, many of which are 50 years old or older. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimates the cost to replace old water distribution systems nationwide to be $400 billion over the next 20 years.
So, why is it so important to replace and upgrade water infrastructure?
Providing safe and affordable drinking water is at the heart of every water utility’s mission. This commitment, along with increasingly stringent federal and state water-quality standards, has improved drinking water but also increased the cost of providing that water.
Water utilities understand the need to keep rates as low as possible. That’s why hundreds of utilities across the country are members of organizations such as the Water Research Foundation (www.waterrf.org)