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Wednesday, February 26, 2020
Are you planning a landscaping project this year?  If so, remember to call 811 and have the underground utility lines located before beginning any digging on your property. If underground utility lines are not properly located, you may cause harm to yourself, damage to the property, and/or impact the utility’s ability to provide services. In fact, according to state law, if you damage an unmarked utility line, you may be responsible for repair costs. 

When utility lines are marked there are uniform colors used by all utilities. The chart below shows the color codes for marking underground utility lines.
Call before you dig

Please dial 811 or 1-800-282-7411 at least 48 hours before beginning your project to request a utility locate.

For more information on utility lines, click here.

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Friday, February 07, 2020
Why does Columbus Water Works raise the water rates?

Columbus Water Works (CWW) operates solely on funds from our water rates. The rate increase provides funding for the ongoing upgrades and maintenance of the aging infrastructure that provides water and sewer services to the residents of Columbus. Through proper planning, we are able to:
  • Continue to provide our customers with reliable services
  • Continue to meet and/or exceed the changing water quality regulations
  • Reduce the risk associated with system failures that can occur if infrastructure is not maintained
Why did my meter cost increase this year?

This year the rate increase was focused on water conservation pricing which shifts costs to higher capacity availability. This is consistent with EPD guidance. 

The meter size matters because it determines how much water a customer can pull from the system at any time. CWW plans, constructs, and maintains the system to ensure sufficient water is readily available when a customer needs it.

How was the meter charge increase determined?

The meter base charges were adjusted according to the size of the meter which range from 5/8 inch up to 2 inches in diameter for residential customers. Commercial customers may have larger meters.

When the base charge increase for each meter size was evaluated, CWW weighed the flow capacity needs for each meter, industry standard costs for each meter size, other water utilities in the region and the overall impact the increase would have on our customers.

Even after the increase in meter base charges, our costs are lower than cities of comparable size, e.g., Macon, Savannah and Augusta.

How does the increased cost affect my water bill?

Most of our residential customers (97.3%) use the smallest size meter, 5/8 inch, and will see an increase of $0.81 based on meter size. A typical residential customer in this group using 3,000 gallons of water per month would see a total (including water, sewer and CSO services) monthly increase of $1.67.  If they use 6,000 gallons of water per month, they would see a total (including water, sewer and CSO services) monthly increase of $1.77. 

Two percent of our residential customers have larger than a 5/8 in meter and will see a larger increase based on meter size as noted in the chart below:

Meter Increase Chart

It is important to note that larger meters are requested by the customer and are typically used for irrigation or to meet a specific volume needed for the home.

If the increase is more than I can afford, are there any options for assistance?

CWW offers a low-income credit of $7.50 for customers who are approved for the reduced garbage fee with the City. To apply, customers may contact the Citizens Service Center with the Columbus Consolidated Government by calling 311 or 706-653-4000 and request enrollment for the reduced garbage fee.

For customers with a dedicated irrigation meter, one option is to call CWW Customer Service and request a turn off for the meter when not in use and turn it back on when needed for a reconnect fee of $30.

CWW also offers payment arrangements for customers who need more time to pay, if needed.
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