2022 Rate Changes
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What charges are reflected on my water bill?
It’s important to understand the structure of your monthly water bill. This will help you understand how these funds help us maintain and improve different systems that protect the public health in Benbrook. Your utility bill includes service fees for your drinking water, wastewater (sewer), storm water utility system, and refuse & recycling. The rates for these fees are calculated in different ways, and the fees for storm water and refuse and recycling are included on the BWA bill on behalf of the City of Benbrook.
Why are my rates changing?
One of our responsibilities at BWA is to protect the health of our community through wastewater (sanitary sewer) collection. That’s why we hired outside consultants to examine our long-term financial needs so that we may continue maintaining and upgrading pipes and equipment throughout the system. To help ensure that we can make these investments, in 2021 we followed their advice by increasing wastewater rates by 6.5%. This year, effective June 1, wastewater rates are changing again, and will reflect a change to winter quarter average billing. This methodology was authorized for implementation by the BWA Board on October 5, 2021, and formally adopted, along with the corresponding wastewater rates, by resolution on May 3, 2022 (Resolution 2022-02).
Drinking water rates will not change at this time but, based on projections and recommendations from the 2020 study are anticipated to change beginning in 2023.
How will my bill change?
Charges for water service will remain unchanged. However, with the adoption of Resolution 2022-02, wastewater service charges will change. The impact of changes to wastewater billing will vary from customer to customer.
Billing impacts will depend mostly on the water usage habits of the individual customers. Billing changes will include a lowered base service charge and a monthly volumetric charge based on the newly adopted wastewater rates. The residential monthly billing volume will be based on the individual customer's winter water (winter quarter average monthly) usage.
Similar to residential customers, commercial customers will also see a lowered fixed base service charge. However, commercial customers but will be billed based on actual metered water usage each month (not winter quarter average).
How will BWA invest the additional funds?
BWA regularly evaluates our pipes and equipment. Each year BWA, with assistance from our consultants, conducts an evaluation of a portion of our wastewater system and then proceeds with construction of needed improvements identified during the previous evaluation. These efforts are undertaken in accordance with the Sanitary Sewer Overflow Initiative (SSOI) Plan prepared by BWA and approved by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) in 2018. These measures are part of a 10-year plan to fully evaluate the entire collection system and help ensure the collection system functions as intended, minimizing the potential for sanitary sewer overflows.
What are sanitary sewer overflows?
Sanitary sewer overflows are when raw sewage backs up in the pipes underground and escapes through the manholes in the streets. These overflows are caused by damaged pipes or when blockages occur due to items that are flushed down the toilet or put down the drain that should not be. These items include all wet wipes, fats, oils, grease, etc.
How does BWA change rates?
BWA establishes water and wastewater rates by resolution. On Tuesday May 3, 2022 the BWA Board adopted Resolution 2022-02. The Resolution establishes the winter quarter average billing methodology and associated wastewater rates which will result in an overall increase in wastewater revenues as contemplated in the Water & Wastewater Rate Study completed in 2020. The increase in wastewater revenues is necessary to provide adequate funding for the Authority's future wastewater operations and collection system upgrades.
Since 2016, BWA has had no increases in water rates and only one increase in wastewater rates (2021).
Will my rates change in the future?
Later this year, the BWA Board may also consider adopting other changes to water and wastewater rates which were recommended in the Water & Wastewater Rate Study. Considerations may include:
- Simplifying water service billing tiers to balance rates and fees among customer classes (residential, multi-family, commercial)
- Simplifying billing units from a per cubic foot of water basis to a per thousand-gallons of water used basis