by Robin Kemp
The Clayton County Water Authority says a ten-percent rate increase will take effect as of January 2021. CCWA has held off implementing the price hike since May, when its board of directors voted to pass it, due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Customers will see the price increase in their February bill.
CCWA says it needs the money “based on the level of investment needed for the 2020 Plan.” Every ten years, CCWA writes a Strategic Master Plan to show what the utility needs to do–things like repairs or upgrades.
According to CCWA, the average residential customer who uses 4,000 gallons of water and sewer service each month will see an increase of less than $5 per month, or 16 cents per day. About two-thirds of residential customers fall into this scenario, CCWA says, adding, “Even with this change, CCWA will still have some of [the] lowest rates in the metro area.”
People who can’t afford their water can get help through CCWA’s Care.Connect.Conserve program. It refers customers in need to the Clayton County Community Services Authority, which administers payment assistance programs for seniors and veterans, among others. To learn more, visit www.ccwa.us/affordability-programs. CCWA says it “encourages customers facing payment challenges to reach out, even if the programs don’t fit their need.”
General Manager H. Bernard Franks notes, “This is our first rate adjustment since 2016, and our Board looked long and hard at how we could continue to serve a growing community while improving our infrastructure, facilities, operations, and even our business practices. We are planning for the next ten years and have identified nearly $626 million worth of essential projects. Our rates support the investment in these improvements. Some of them will take longer to complete than others, but all are for the benefit of the community.”
CCWA provides water, sewer, and storm water services to more than 289,000 Clayton County residents. Its five raw water reservoirs produce up to 42 million gallons of drinking water and treat up to 38.4 million gallons of wastewater each day. To learn more, visit ccwa.us.