Water Bills Increase Again This Fall in D.C.

Water bills in Washington, D.C., are about to go up again this fall.

Floods, sewage overflows and aging pipes cost billions of dollars to fix in a city where some overloaded pipes date back to the Civil War.

DC Water CEO George Hawkins is overseeing the city's massive, multiyear effort to contain storm and waste water — a principal reason for the latest water bill increase of about 13 percent. The rates have doubled in the past six years to fix infrastructure problems.

“I think people are willing to pay for something they value, and we've got to demonstrate that we're delivering value for the money,” Hawkins said.

Starting Oct. 1, an average family of four in the district will pay about $96 a month — an increase of about $11.

Commercial rates are higher, and new fees are included.

Hawkins encourages water conservation and noted about 44 percent of D.C. rate payers will see little change in their fees based on low usage.

A recent report by the regional Council of Governments estimated that the entire region needs about $20 billion in water and sewer repairs and to prepare for future growth.

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