St. Louis City Council voted 5-0 Tuesday, June 5, to raise water and sewer rates by about 10 percent.
The monthly charge per 1,000 gallons of water goes from $3.64 (or $4.16 if you have a 3/4 inch meter) to $4.23. And the monthly charge that you pay no matter how much water you use goes from $16.20 to $22.77.
The flat fee for sewer use goes from $7.26 per month to $13.18. However, the charge that varies depending on how much water you use falls from $5.66 per 1,000 gallons to $3.97.
The new rates will be effective for all bills due and payable on July 1 and thereafter.
Rates will also increase for water and sewer customers who have water meters larger than those of typical homeowners (mostly businesses).
The increases are the first step in a plan to raise water and sewer rates by about 10 percent a year over six or seven years, which will increase today’s water and sewer charges by more than 80 percent.
The changes are state-government driven, as the state offered a large grant ($1 million for St. Louis) to cities that signed onto the program.
The increases will be a blow to homeowners, but it’s arguable that they are needed to upgrade dilapidated the sewer and water systems.
In St. Louis alone, some 23,400 feet of sanitary sewer pipe is in need of replacement or repair.
That figure represents 20 percent of the 22 miles of sanitary sewer pipe in St. Louis. The dilapidated pipe is located all over the city. If you live within the city limits you are probably within one block of a stretch of sewer pipe in need of repair or replacement.
Additional sewer and water revenue will enable city government to replace and repair these aging sewer pipes.
City council also approved rate increases for yard waste collection ($11.13) and hazardous waste collection ($0.26) to $12.74 and 43 cents.
These charges appear on your monthly bill collectively under the “Refuse” category and include trash pickup, leaf and brush collection and hazardous waste disposal. But the city breaks it down to yard waste, solid waste and hazardous waste. The solid waste charge remains the same at $13.77.