Wheaton to increase water rates Jan. 1

Published: Monday, Dec. 23, 2013 1:45 p.m. CDT

WHEATON – The average Wheaton homeowner will see their monthly water bill increase by about $8 starting Jan. 1, according to Director of Finance Robert Lehnhardt.

The hike is occurring because the DuPage Water Commission is raising its rates in the Wheaton area by 18 percent starting in 2014 and because the city must make capital improvements worth $8 million to its water infrastructure, the release said.

The average monthly bill for homeowners will increase from about $28.73 to about $36.32 per month, according to the release, and the rate will rise to $4.49 per 100 cubic feet of water, up from last year's $3.81.

This marks the second of three years of planned increases to cover the rates and improvements, Lehnhardt said. While the city doesn't foresee significant increases after the planned rate hikes, the rise in spending on infrastructure replacement will likely continue.

"Some of our pipes are close to or over 60 years old," he said. "There's 229 miles of [pipe], and there's a life cycle for them and that's starting to come up."

The $8 million in improvements include replacing water mains and meters, maintaining water towers and the installation of a new computerized control system, the release said.

"We have to continually upgrade the system," Lehnhardt said. "Looking at the age of the city and how long we've been around, a lot of this infrastructure has been here for years. We've always tried to be proactive in maintaining our systems."

For more information, visit www.wheaton.il.us/waterbill.

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