San Diego

Poway City Council Approves Water, Sewer Service Rate Increases

Daytime protests weren’t enough to stop the Poway City Council from approving a set of rate hikes on water and sewer services in the city.

The proposal, which passed unanimously, calls for a 4.5-percent increase on the water commodity use rate, a 7.5-percent hike on the fixed water meter charge, and 3.25 percent increases on the sewer commodity rate and the sewer service charge.

“What goes up never comes down in terms of taxes, or water,” Poway resident Jason Chynn said. “They just go up, up, up, and never come back down.”

Jason Chynn has lived in Poway for three years. His idea for keeping water costs low is investing in infrastructure projects that will retain rainwater.

“I think we should build more infrastructures to capture the water because it’s kind of ridiculous with the amount of rain we have, it all goes to waste,” he said.

But Poway City Manager Tina White said ratepayers might actually see a lower bill even with the rate increases.

“If you compare the bill last year to the bill this year with the new rates, it will actually be less and that’s because the new rates are less than the drought recovery surcharge we were collecting,” White said.

White said more goes into water rates than just rainfall. She says the city also has to factor how much it pays for raw water from the San Diego County Water Authority and how much it has to pay to treat the water.

The city manager assured that the Poway sharpened its pencils when coming up with the adjusted rates.

“We did our homework, and sharpened our pencils and know it’s the least increase that we could be asking for to keep operations sustainable,” she said.

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