Sewer rates are increasing 4% to cover rising costs in our MWRA (Massachusetts Water Resource Authority) assessment.
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Last summer we used more MWRA water which is more expensive than our local sources and the rate increase is needed to pay for that water. We had to use MWRA water because we shut down the Morses Pond Treatment Plant (Wellesley’s most productive local source) due to elevated levels of PFAS.Also, we sold less water due to conservation measures and wet weather last year. The rate increase is needed to make up for some of that lost revenue.
The most effective way to lower your water bill is to use less water. The Water division has partnered with the EPA’s WaterSense program to help provide guidance to customers on ways to reduce their water use. Efficient indoor and outdoor water use tips can be found on our website.
Maximizing use of our local water sources is the best way to help keep rates down. The Water division is working to get the Morses Treatment Plant back online as our local sources are about half as expensive as purchasing water through the MWRA. We are taking advantage of grants and interests-free loans wherever possible. For example, in FY22, the Water division made use of $1.5M in American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to pay for interim PFAS treatment and a $150K grant from the Clean Water Trust. Also, authorization to receive another $2.5M of interest-free loans was approved at the 2022 Annual Town Meeting and will be used to fund distribution system improvements.
There is currently no additional rate increase anticipated this year. Any potential increase next year will depend heavily on this year’s water use.
For the average residential customer that uses 10ccf per month, the expected impact is $195 per year.
There is currently no additional rate increase anticipated this year. Typically, MWRA costs increase about 4% each year.
For the average residential customer that uses 10ccf per month, the expected impact is $46 per year.