Survey focuses on US cities’ water/wastewater rates

October 2010 Vol. 65 No. 10

Black & Veatch has released the results of its sixth 50 Largest Cities Water and Wastewater Rate Survey, a resource for water and wastewater utilities. The survey highlights customer charges for water and sewer service for residential, industrial and commercial customers.

"This survey is a tool for managers of water infrastructure to see how their rates compare with national trends," said John Kersten, associate vice president and water industry lead in Black & Veatch's management consulting division. "The primary source of income for these utilities to pay for operating, maintaining, expanding and updating their infrastructure is through water and sewer rate collections, which must be continuously adjusted to address rising costs."

A key finding of the survey is that water and wastewater bills for residential use across the country have increased at a steady rate since 2001 – when Black & Veatch began producing the survey.

This trend correlates with findings from The 2009 Report Card for America's Infrastructure, published by the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE), showing approximately $2.2 trillion of investment is needed to improve vital infrastructure over the next five years. Overall, America's grade is a cumulative "D" as noted by the ASCE.

The full survey results are available at www.bv.com/top50ratesurvey.