The Round Rock City Council gave unanimous initial approval to decrease wastewater rates by 8.8% and to maintain current water rates over the next three years. The wastewater rate decrease would go into effect Feb. 1.
Wastewater rates are determined on a monthly base charge per 1,000 gallons of water used. The decrease in wastewater rates will save residential customers $2.40 per month when using 10,000 gallons of water and 8,000 gallons of wastewater, according to city documents. In 2017, residents used an average of 75 gallons per day, according to city records.
Wholesale customers, which are primarily in the local municipal utility districts, will have their water rates adjusted based on cost-of-service demands. This ranges from a reduction of 3.8% to an increase of 7.6%. Wholesale customers wastewater rates will also be reduced by 8.8%.
According to city records, the last water rate increase for both residential and wholesale customers was in October 2018. The last wastewater increase for residential customers was in 2016 and in 2012 for wholesale customers.
Rate changes are based on periodic reviews to ensure the city is recovering costs needed for city capital improvements, operational pressures and to meet capital needs, said Michael Thane, the city's director of utilities and environmental services.
“We’re always making sure we’re putting infrastructure in the ground so we’re ahead of the game,” Thane said.
Additionally, starting this year, Round Rock will make an investment of $73.1 million for the Phase 2 Deep Water Intake and Transmission Tunnel for the Bushy Creek Regional Water System and $4.5 million for the city’s next water treatment plant expansion project, according to city documents. The water treatment plan start date was originally planned for 2026, city staff said.
The City Council will give final approval of the water rates at its next meeting on Jan. 27 during a second reading. Rates will then go into effect starting Feb. 1.
This article originally appeared on Austin American-Statesman: Round Rock City Council approves new water and sewer rates