By Ron Nunnari
OAKWOOD — The annual ‘Water and Sewer Rate Survey’ prepared by the city of Oakwood was recently released.
Each year Oakwood collects and compiles water and sanitary sewer rate information from jurisdictions in Southwest Ohio and presents the results in the form of comparative bar charts.
Each participating jurisdiction is asked to calculate its effective water and sewer cost using a base consumption of 22,500 gallons, or 3,000 cubic feet, over a three month period.
Since reporting entities may bill on a monthly, bi-monthly or quarterly basis and have minimum consumption fees, multipliers, surcharges, etc., calculations must be done carefully to obtain an accurate presentation of data.
Oakwood uses a calculation worksheet to assist participants in determining quarterly cost and to ensure data accuracy.
The 2020 survey reflects a collective rate increase compared to 2019, as follows:
Water: 4.2 percent
Sewer: 4.5 percent
Combined: 4.6 percent
The city of Union had the most affordable water at $62.50 over a three month period. Among local jurisdictions, the city of Englewood came in with the 8th most affordable rate of $96.48.
New Lebanon ranked 36th at $131.18 with Lewisburg 37th at $132.30.
The city of Clayton ranked 43rd at $156.42 while the city of Brookville ranked 55th at $168.75 out of 66 jurisdictions.
Yellow Springs had the most expensive water at $318.75.
Huber Heights had the lowest sewer cost at $74.88. Englewood came in ninth at $97.70 with Brookville 14th at $110.35 and Union 15th at $116.40.
New Lebanon ranked 23rd at $132.30, Lewisburg 27th at $135.30 and Clayton 46th at $183.35 out of 63 jurisdictions.
Combined Water & Sewer Cost
The city of Union had the second lowest combined water and sewer cost at $178.90. Englewood was 7th at $194.18, New Lebanon 25th at $263.48, Lewisburg 27th at $267.60, Brookville 30th at $279.10 and Clayton was 47th at $339.77 out of 63 reporting jurisdictions.
Yellow Springs had the combined highest total of $585.23.
Reporting jurisdictions use this rate analysis in many ways. Water and sewer rates are established to address the costs of providing the utility service.
The rates are a function of annual operating and capital expenses. Rates can vary dramatically depending on the scope and timing of major capital investments. The city of Union is preparing to make upgrades to its water and sewer system in the near future.
“Combined water and sewer cost, we are second lowest in the area out of 63 jurisdictions,” said city of Union Manager John Applegate. “That is a good report, but I will make the comment that when you look at some of the rates and some of the things that we are probably going to be faced with, we will be looking at increasing the water rate sometime in the future.”
The data for each entity is compared to the previous year. Any entity that reports a decrease in rates or an increase in excess of 10 percent is contacted for verification and recalculation, if necessary.
Entities providing water and/or sewer service to multiple jurisdictions, such as the city of Dayton, Montgomery and Greene counties, are contacted to verify the correct rate for the various jurisdictions being served.