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County water rates going down
by Joan Durbin
December 31, 2012 12:23 PM | 2427 views | 1 1 comments | 12 12 recommendations | email to a friend | print

Of the more than 90,000 residents of Roswell, less than 6,000 get city water. The remainder gets water from Fulton County.

Last month, the county agreed to lower the cost to its customers for water and sewer by four percent. According to a county press release, that means effective Feb. 1, Fulton County water and sewer customers will have the lowest water and sewer rates in metro Atlanta.

Fulton’s current water rate of $3.02 per 1,000 gallons will be reduced to $2.90 per 1,000 gallons and the current sewer rate of $5.74 per 1,000 gallons will be decreased to $5.51 per 1,000 gallons

Those customers using around 6,000 gallons per month will save close to $25 per year. If water consumption is 12,000 gallons per month, the saving for water and sewer will be around $50 per year.

Roswell city water customers now pay $3.70 per 1,000 gallons for up to 10,000 gallons per two-month billing period and it increases for higher consumption in accordance with state guidelines for conservation rates, said Stu Moring, the city’s environmental and public works director.

The planned replacement of the city’s aging water plant will bump those rates a bit higher, although there are no firm estimates of how much, Moring said.

“We don’t have an actual rate plan established for the future, but we do expect costs to increase about 1.5 to 2 percent per year, so at some point rates will need to cover that,” he said.

While the city’s rates are not the lowest of systems in the metro area, Moring said they are very competitive and below median price for average monthly consumption, which on the Roswell system is about 4,900 gallons.

“The objective in Roswell has never been to have the cheapest rates, but to have competitive rates and high quality service,” Moring said.

“The Roswell water system has won a number of awards for excellent water production and for distribution system of the year. We take great pride in our customer responsiveness, and our new automated metering system allows us to detect significant leaks or high consumption and advise customers without having to wait until the end of the billing cycle.”

The intent of the water plant expansion is to improve the economy of scale as Fulton County has done, so the cost of producing each gallon is reduced, Moring said.

Roswell’s water system received a $750,000 grant from the Georgia Environmental Finance Authority for implementation of its automated metering system to improve water conservation.

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