Commissioners Approve 4th Tier Water Rate

At their regular meeting on September 3, Jefferson County PUD’s Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to create a fourth tier of water rates for residential water customers.

The fourth tier, which doesn’t go into effect until January 5th of 2020, will apply a charge of $1 per 100 gallons to all residential water usage over 30,000 gallons per month. The current highest rate is $0.54 per 100 gallons for usage over 10,000 gallons per month.

According to Customer Service Manager Jean Hall, the average residential water customer uses around 5,000 gallons per month. Only one percent of PUD customers use an average of 30,000 gallons or more, said Hall.

That one percent, though, according to Hall, consumes over 11% of all water used by PUD residential customers. “Some of the users are consuming more than 100,000 gallons per month,” said Hall, “and mostly, from what our crew has observed, to maintain landscaping.”

According to Interim Water Operations Supervisor Bill Graham, the need for a fourth tier of water rates for high users was prompted by increasing costs to meet the demand for water by high users.

Water use is seasonal, said Graham, with highest use during the warm dry months of summer. “Unfortunately, the months when demand is highest often coincide with times when system capacities are more constrained,” said Graham. “The additional funds generated by the new rate will help the PUD recover the costs of expanding our systems to meet increased demand, as well as the additional maintenance costs incurred due to higher usage.”

PUD General Manager Kevin Streett also hopes the 4th tier rate will help some customers to be aware of their usage and encourage the conservation of PUD water.

The PUD estimates that less than 150 water customers will reach the fourth tier at some point during the high use months of the summer of 2020. The new tier does not apply to commercial customers.

At their regular meeting on September 3, Jefferson County PUD’s Board of Commissioners approved a resolution to create a fourth tier of water rates for residential water customers.

The fourth tier, which doesn’t go into effect until January 5th of 2020, will apply a charge of $1 per 100 gallons to all residential water usage over 30,000 gallons per month. The current highest rate is $0.54 per 100 gallons for usage over 10,000 gallons per month.

According to Customer Service Manager Jean Hall, the average residential water customer uses around 5,000 gallons per month. Only one percent of PUD customers use an average of 30,000 gallons or more, said Hall.

That one percent, though, according to Hall, consumes over 11% of all water used by PUD residential customers. “Some of the users are consuming more than 100,000 gallons per month,” said Hall, “and mostly, from what our crew has observed, to maintain landscaping.”

According to Interim Water Operations Supervisor Bill Graham, the need for a fourth tier of water rates for high users was prompted by increasing costs to meet the demand for water by high users.

Water use is seasonal, said Graham, with highest use during the warm dry months of summer. “Unfortunately, the months when demand is highest often coincide with times when system capacities are more constrained,” said Graham. “The additional funds generated by the new rate will help the PUD recover the costs of expanding our systems to meet increased demand, as well as the additional maintenance costs incurred due to higher usage.”

PUD General Manager Kevin Streett also hopes the 4th tier rate will help some customers to be aware of their usage and encourage the conservation of PUD water.

The PUD estimates that less than 150 water customers will reach the fourth tier at some point during the high use months of the summer of 2020. The new tier does not apply to commercial customers.

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