Local News

Raleigh water customers to pay according to consumption

Posted October 26, 2010 5:02 p.m. EDT
Updated October 27, 2010 12:42 p.m. EDT

— Almost three years after the Raleigh City Council approved a tiered billing system for the municipal water system, customers will begin getting charged next week based on how much water they use each month.

The council approved the tiered system in March 2008, when the state was in the grips of a record-setting drought. Officials said they wanted to encourage people to conserve water by giving them a break on their bills.

The water system needed to change its billing software to implement the three-tier system, causing the lengthy delay.

In the meantime, the city raised water rates by 24 percent last year to make up revenue lost because of customers' conservation efforts and to pay for a new water treatment plant.

The bottom residential tier, Tier 1, would be for customers who use less than 3,000 gallons a month. Tier 2 would be for those who use between 3,000 and 7,500 gallons, and Tier 3 would include anyone using more than 7,500 gallons a month.

Tier 1 customers within the city limits of Raleigh and Garner would be charged $3.04 for every 1,000 gallons, while Tier 2 customers would pay $5.07 and Tier 3 customers would pay $6.77 per 1,000 gallons.

Those in the Raleigh and Garner areas but outside the city limits would pay $6.09 for every 1,000 gallons on Tier 1, $10.16 on Tier 2 and $13.55 on Tier 3.

Bills won't reflect the number of gallons used but will list consumption in terms of hundreds of cubic feet of water. One hundred cubic feet equals 748 gallons.

For residences that have a separate meter for outdoor water usage, the irrigation water rate is $6.77 per 1,000 within the city limits of Raleigh and Garner and $13.55 outside the city limits.

The tiered system applies only to residential customers. Businesses in Raleigh and Garner would pay $3.94 for every 1,000 gallons of water used.

Rates for water customers in Knightdale, Rolesville, Wake Forest, Wendell and Zebulon will remain the same.

The monthly water bill for the average residential customer – someone who uses less than 4,500 gallons a month – will be $40.64 under the tiered system, according to city officials. The compares with $39.82 under the old billing system.