Madison Water Utility asks for rate increase, what this could mean for your water bill

Madison Water Utility asks for rate increase, what this could mean for your water bill
iStock / Elenathewise

A new proposal from Madison Water Utility would increase water rates by more than two dollars per month for customers.

Madison Water Utility has filed an application with the Public Service Commission to increase water rates by 8 percent, or around $2.20 for a typical residential customer, according to a news release from the utility. The PSC is an independent state agency responsible for the regulation of Wisconsin public utilities, including those that are municipally owned.

The 8 percent increase would generate an additional $3.5 million in revenue, according to Amy Barrilleaux, a spokesperson for Madison Water Utility. The increase would be used to offset the cost of financing previous major projects as well as current and future water main and other infrastructure projects, Barrilleaux said.

The utility faces nearly $17 million in capital financing costs this year, which includes projects such as the new Well 31 on the southeast side of town and the new Blackhawk Water Tower on the far west side of town.

Madison Water Utility is also investing $7 million to replace old mains on the edges of the city, Barrilleaux said, along with $3 million in fire hydrants, water services and other infrastructure costs.

This request comes months after the PSC approved a 30.4 percent revenue increase, which was expected to add $7 to the typical monthly bill.

Madison Water Utility operations and infrastructure investments are funded solely through water rates, Barrilleaux said.

The PSC takes an average of 200 days to process a water rate application. Rates would not go into effect until sometime next year, if there is an increase, Barrilleaux said. They would also only apply to the water portion of the municipal services bill.

The current monthly residential water charge is around $27.73 based on 4,267 gallons of water.

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