Due to the dramatic increases in our cost of operations, CWS water rates have been increased for the first time since 1991. The new rates, which will be reflected in your next water bill, will include a number of changes.
First, the new base rate for all residential users will now be $20.75 per month. This rate covers up to 1000 gallons of water usage. The charge for water usage beyond 1000 gallons will be $4.50 per thousand gallons.
Second, the Regulation/Compliance Fee will be $1.40. This fee covers the cost of all Federal and State water monitoring requirements and mandated programs.
Third, a new line item will be included on each bill reflecting the additional energy costs needed to produce and transmit water. This item will be labeled "rate contingency fund" on the first bill but will read "Energy Adjustment" on subsequent bills. This line item amount will be determined by each month's energy costs. Presently, these amounts fluctuate so dramatically that long-term budgeting is virtually impossible.
Now for the good news, CWS has established a Deposit Refund System. All qualified owner/occupied residential customers will have their deposit deducted from their upcoming water bill. To qualify, a customer must have a continuous twenty four (24) month period without penalties. If you do not currently qualify, your deposit will be deducted as soon as you meet the refund requirements.
Rate increases, though unpopular, are often necessary. In our case, every area of the CWS system is experiencing higher costs. From fuel and equipment to water treatment and transport, operating expenses are higher today than ever before. Another contributing factor included in this increase is the age and condition of much of our original water system. The service lines in these areas are old and in many cases, in need of repair or replacement. To maintain dependable service, we must be prepared to deal with each and every problem on a continuous basis.
If you questions about the new rate structure, the Deposit Refund System or any other area of your water service, please call the CWS Operations Center at 1-501-825-7294 or 1-800-234-2971.