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Monday, November 23, 2020
Columbus Water Works Postpones Rate Increase

Columbus Water Works (CWW) cares about our customers and our community.  We understand that the COVID-19 Pandemic has been difficult on everyone and some may still be struggling financially. The feedback received from customers and City Council during our public meetings was to delay the increase due to this hardship in our community.  As a result, the CWW Board voted to postpone the rate increase until April 1, 2021.

This minimal increase of 3.75% will add between $1 and $3 to the majority of our residential customers’ monthly water bills. These funds will allow us to complete necessary upgrades on key areas of our infrastructure. By performing proper repairs, we can avoid paying emergency costs, which are typically three to five times higher than planned repairs.

As an additional measure to ease the financial burden on our low-income customers, we have increased our credit by $1 bringing the total low-income credit to $8.50 per month.  This adjustment will offset a large portion of the rate increase.  If you would like to apply for the low-income credit program, you may call 706-653-4000 to request an application. 

As an organization, we are honored to support our community’s public health, safety, economic stability and environment.  Our dedicated staff works hard to deliver the best possible services, while also working to keep the rates affordable. 

Below are the answers to the most common questions we received about the upcoming rate increase:

Q: How much will this rate increase be?

A: The rate increase will be 3.75% across the board. In other words, the base charge and your usage rates will increase by 3.75%.   The majority of our customers will see an approximate increase between $1 and $3 on their monthly water bill. Click here to see a full rate schedule.

                The table below shows the cost comparisons for the most common usage with the new rates:

Q: When will the increase go into effect?

A: Customer bills generated on or after April 1, 2021 will reflect the new rates.

Q: How do I apply for the additional $1 credit on my bill?

A: If you are currently enrolled in our low-income credit program, you will automatically receive the additional credit.  If you are not enrolled in the program, you can apply for enrollment at any time, by calling 706-653-4000 to request an application.

Q: What if I need financial assistance and I do not qualify for the low-income credit program?

A: Columbus Water Works will work with you to establish payment arrangements, based on your situation.  There are also several other agencies who may be able to help.  United Way of the Chattahoochee Valley’s 211 hotline is a great source to connect you with available options. Click here for more info

Q: Why does sewer cost so much more than water?

A: The treatment processes required to clean wastewater are a lot more complex than treating the river water to be safe for consumption. The treatment requires processes and extensive testing to ensure that we do not harm the environment when we return the water to the environment. These more complex treatment processes cost more to install, maintain and operate.

Q: Why do I pay for garbage collection on my water and sewer bill?

A: Columbus Consolidated Government and Columbus Water Works have partnered to limit the operational costs supported by our community. By including these costs in CWW bills, it prevents the need for a separate billing system, support staff, and other resources required for separate billing.

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