With the notable exception of Manassas Park, water bills in our region have been increasing. Manassas Park has finally surrendered its title of most expensive water in the region to the Town of Leesburg.
There is no true “cost” of water, the price charged for water, often does not reflect its value or true cost. WSSC has been struggling to raise rates and increase revenue, even as water usage per person fall, to pay for a decades long repair and restoration of their water and sewer distribution system. They are currently engaged in a 10 year program to replace over 2,000 miles of water pipe and similar amount or sewer pipes. WSSC needs to fund both ongoing operations and the billions of dollars in capital needed to rehabilitate, upgrade and replace water and wastewater infrastructure.
Recently, Fairfax Water announced its intention to raise their water rates next
spring as they do almost every winter. There will be, as usual, a public hearing on Thursday, December 15, 2022, on the
proposed rate increase held at Fairfax Water’s main office at 8570 Executive
Park Avenue in Fairfax. This rate increase is part of their ongoing program to
ensure that the water infrastructure in Fairfax County is maintained. The
proposed rate increase will go into effect April 1. 2023. Visit Fairfaxwater.org/rates
for a complete list of rate and fee increases.
The need for infrastructure replacement is an issue that has caused significant service problems and rate increases in other parts of the Washington Metropolitan region. Fairfax Water Board of Directors have dedicated funding to infrastructure maintenance and replacement for many years, and has forecast future capital needs for replacing water mains in the system. The Town of Leesburg did not have a capital program in place.
Every time they propose to raise water rates, Fairfax Water performs a comparison of the water costs throughout the Washington Metropolitan region. I have tracked this information (with exception of Pandemic years) above. This comparison is based on rates as of July 1, 2022 (and July 1, 2017, 2018, 2019) and on 18,000 gallons of residential water use for an established account over a three-month period. As you can see above even with this increase, Fairfax Water’s commodity rates will remain among the lowest in the Washington metropolitan region. Fairfax Water sells water to Prince William Service Authority, American Water, Manassas Park and others.