A reader contacted me about what they felt was an outrage: the cost of their water use went up over 4% in the last year and they wanted to know if this was unusual and whether or not they were now paying more than other South Metro cities. While I do not see my individual monthly water usage bills as I live in an association and our fees are rolled into our monthly association dues, I was interested enough to dig through the publicly available information on water usage rates and find out which city was charging its residents the most for their water use.
After looking through the documentation available on the websites for each of the cities I generally cover, I realized that the concerned resident had absolutely nothing to worry about as they weren’t paying anything near the highest rate in the South Metro for water.
Because of the differences in water rates, I made my best attempt at standardizing the rates across all cities and their various rates (quarterly, monthly, base fees, etc). The table below (Google Docs version available with more information) lists the amount of money a residential household would be charged on a monthly basis for 1,000 gallons of water usage:
|Apple Valley||Source of Apple Valley’s rates||$4.08||$1.08||$5.16|
|Burnsville||Source of Burnsville’s rates||$2.00||$2.23||$4.23|
|Eagan||Source of Eagans rates||$2.00||$1.40||$3.40|
|Farmington||Source of Farmington’s rates||$4.00||$0.85||$4.85|
|Hastings||Source of Hastings’ rates||$2.00||$1.82||$3.82|
|Lakeville||Source of Lakeville’s rates||$1.20||$0.85||$2.05|
|Rosemount||Source of Rosemounts rates||$3.33||$1.50||$4.83|
|Savage||Source of Savage’s rates||$7.11||$2.84||$9.95|
* Update: Savage’s Communications Manager suggests this document for more background on their higher rates.
So the real question is, why are some cities paying rates which are much higher than the average ($4.78) with Savage charging over twice as much? Do you even look at your water bill and think of ways to lower it? Are you pleased enough with your water quality/service to pay the rates you are or do you think they should be lowered? Whatever you have to say about the data provided here go ahead and comment on as I’d love to hear what you have to say.