WHEATON, Ill. – At last night’s Wheaton City Council meeting, the Council approved changes to the City’s water billing rate and structure. A study of the City’s water rate performed by an outside firm determined the City needs to raise its rates in order to offset an increase in the amount the City of Chicago and the DuPage Water Commission will be charging Wheaton for water starting in January 2013. The changes also are necessary to support infrastructure improvements needed for the aging water system.
The chart below shows the effect the rate changes will have on the average user – a customer with a ¾-inch meter using 600 cubic feet of water in a month – compared to the rate for other communities. Note that the amounts for other communities were calculated using their current rates, not potential increases the communities will likely impose in response to the City of Chicago and DuPage Water Commission water rate increases. The only exception is Naperville, which has published its rates for 2013. As shown below, the average user’s bill in Wheaton would increase from $20.73 to $28.73 per month, which remains lower than most surrounding communities, even before those communities implement their own rate increases.
New Rate Structure
Because there are many fixed costs associated with delivering water and maintaining infrastructure, the new water billing will include a service fee – a flat monthly charge that will assist in paying for these fixed costs. The fee, based on industry standards, will be charged based on the customer’s meter size, as the meter size is the best way to calculate the potential demand on the system at any location in the city. Approximately 89% of Wheaton customers will fall into the lowest fee category for 5/8-inch and ¾-inch water meters, which is $5.86 per month. The new rate example shown above already includes the service fee. The usage rate will increase from $3.45 per 100 cubic feet of water to $3.81 per 100 cubic feet in 2013.
These changes in rate in structure will go into effect with customers’ January bill. For more information about water billing changes or to watch videos of related City Council discussions, see the City’s website at www.wheaton.il.us/waterbill.