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News Review
Water Rate Increase
Posted Date: 5/17/2012

For the first time in three years, the City of Richardson will raise the rates it charges for water and sewer service. The increase will take effect beginning June 1, 2012.

The City of Richardson purchases its water from the North Texas Municipal Water District (NTMWD). For the past 10 of 11 years, the NTMWD has raised its fees for supplying water, during which time the City has only increased its rates four times. The last time Richardson raised its rates for water and sewer service was in 2008. Since rates last increased, the wholesale water cost to the City has increased 38 percent, and sewer treatment cost has increased 10 percent. Richardson has used reserve funds to absorb the increased cost, but the money left for doing so is running low. The City strives to maintain 90 days of fund balance reserve, but this year, without a rate increase, the reserve level will drop to 73 days by the end of the fiscal year in September.

“Since the beginning of the recession, we’ve been working hard to cut costs and maintain services so our residents could be spared during the economic downturn,” said Richardson Mayor Bob Townsend. “Up until now, we’ve been able to do that by using our reserve funds. However, now that the economy is looking better, we’re in a position where we have to catch up with the water rate increases passed along by the North Texas Municipal Water District so that it doesn’t have any long-term detrimental effects on our municipal budget.”

 City Total
Mesquite $1,068
McKinney $1,018
Dallas $1,010
Grand Prairie
Fort Worth
Allen $919
Frisco $916
Plano $880
Richardson - Proposed
Arlington $805
Richardson - Current
Irving $760
Carrollton $714
Cumulative City Average - Current
Cumulative City Average - Proposed

Richardson currently charges one of the lowest average rates for water and sewer service compared to its 12 comparison cities (see chart on page 2). Currently, the average resident pays approximately $774 per year for water and sewer service. That average will increase to $852 if none of the other comparison cities raise their rates this year. The average water/sewer bill for all of Richardson’s comparison cities is $913 and will go up to $919, which keeps Richardson customers well below regional averages.

Rates based on consumption would increase by 9 percent, while the base charge for both water and sewer would increase $1 per month. That equates to a total monthly increase of $6.50 per month for the average residential customer.

The increase that will take effect in June will not be enough to cover another rate increase anticipated to be passed along by the NTMWD in October. The District currently anticipates increased costs due to special projects, which includes the construction of a new pipeline being built between Lake Texoma and the NTMWD water treatment facility in Wylie. The pipeline will allow the NTMWD to once again pump water from the lake, which is currently not allowed due to an infestation of zebra mussels.

While the North Texas Municipal Water District and the City of Richardson remain under Stage 3 once per week water restrictions, a move to Stage 2 twice a week watering may be implemented as early as June 1, 2012. The analysis supporting the rate increases includes a return to twice a week watering.
All residents who have further questions regarding their water bill, and how the rate increase will impact them, can contact Richardson’s Water and Sewer Customer Service at 972-744-4120.