Clean Water Costs
Prices for clean water are on the rise.
When we turn on the tap, we take for granted that clean water will come out. But who pays for that water? And what happens when there isn’t enough clean water to go around? In places like California, they’re beginning to find out. Luckily Wake County isn’t that desperate yet, but we need to invest in our water infrastructure now, so that we continue to have plentiful, clean water in the future.
The cost of providing drinking water and wastewater treatment is rising as suppliers need to replace aging infrastructure and comply with public health standards, and as more people are needing water. In most cases, these increasing costs have caused water suppliers to raise their rates.
Our region is growing quickly, which places stress on our drinking water supply and water quality. As the water quality of Falls and Jordan Lakes continues to deteriorate, Wake taxpayers will have to pay more to clean our water to make it safe for drinking.
Raleigh Public Utilities oversees drinking water and wastewater treatment for the City of Raleigh, as well as the smaller, but fast-growing Eastern Wake municipalities of Wake Forest, Rolesville, Knightdale, Wendell, Zebulon, and Garner. These cities face three serious drinking water and sewer challenges:
- Having enough water supply long-term.
- Cleaning up the polluted Falls Lake reservoir.
- Very high costs of replacing aging pipes and infrastructure.
Our water has been extremely cheap for decades, and we’ve enjoyed paying just pennies per gallon of water. But replacing pipes and cleaning our water cannot be paid for with our current water and sewer fees. No one likes their bills going up, but we must come to terms with the high value of having clean drinking water and sanitary wastewater services.