2022/23 Rate Changes
We understand that any increase or change to water bills affects our customer’s budgets. For that reason, when we make changes, we want you to understand why. Starting January 2023, most Benbrook customers will see an increase in their water and sewer bill. Here’s what’s changing:
- Wastewater (sewer) rates are increasing by 5%.
- Drinking water rate structure is changing, which could result in a bill increase
Determining drinking water rates is complex and we are focused on balancing costs across all of our customer accounts. Please reach out to us with any questions or concerns at 817-249-1250 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What charges are reflected on my BWA bill?
It’s important to understand the structure of your monthly 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.
How much will my water and sewer bill increase?
On average, the cost per gallon will rise by less than one penny.
The average Benbrook home uses just under 1,100 cubic feet (about 8000 gallons) of water per month over the course of a year. For the average customer, the monthly water and sewer charges will increase by approximately $12.
Your water usage determines the monthly charge on your bill. Conserving water, especially in the summer, could help you maintain an affordable water bill.
Find your nearly real-time water usage data through the WaterSmart customer portal. More info below.
How will the new water rates structure change my water bill?
This structure change comes on the heels of a cost of service study to determine how prepared we are for our community’s future.
The new water rate structure includes a fixed charge, which depends on the size of your water meter. This fixed charge covers the cost to provide and maintain service, including meter reading, billing, customer service, as well as equipment (such as your water meter) required to get the water to your home. Your actual water use will be charged separately.
In addition, we are simplifying our rate structure by reducing billing tiers from 8 to 3 for single family homes. As you use more water, you bump up to the next tier which has a higher rate per cubic foot. Here’s a look at the new tiers for single family homes:
Rate per Cubic Foot
0-800 cf (<6,000 gal.)
800-2400 cf (6,000-18,000 gal.)
Above 2400 cf (above 18,000 gal.)
Multi-family and commercial customers’ tiers will reduce from 8 tiers to 1 tier.
Resolution 2022-12 provides more detailed information on these rate changes.
How much water do I currently use?
Every family has different water needs which vary throughout the year. Most homes use more water during the summer due to lawn watering. The average Benbrook home uses 601 cubic feet of water (4,495 gal.) in a winter month, and the summer average is 1,482 cubic feet (11,085 gal.).
WaterSmart is BWA’s free customer portal where you can review your water use history, monitor your water use throughout the month, and set up leak alerts and high bill alerts. These tools can help you address the impacts on your budget through conserving water and minimizing waste.
How will the wastewater increase affect Winter Quarter Average?
Following the increase in January 2023, single family residential customers’ bill amounts will remain the same from January through March 2023. After March, the 2022-23 winter quarter average volumes will be calculated and used for billing during the next 12 months.
Why is my bill increasing?
In 2020, BWA conducted a study to determine how prepared we were for our community’s future. The study looked at our ability to meet the rising costs of doing business such as attracting and retaining the best workforce to serve our growing community and managing the increasing costs of maintaining and operating the system. The study found that our current rate structure did not allow us to meet those demands. It’s been six years since the last increase to drinking water rates, and while no one likes a bill increase, we made the decision to move forward to protect the health and safety of the community.
The bill increase is essential for BWA to remain a resilient water system capable of meeting increasing costs such as chemical costs and inflation. We are investing in system upgrades after 2021’s Winter Storm Uri to further protect the system from severe weather and minimize the impact to our community. We are also investing in infrastructure to support the current and future growth of our community. These costs include not only the construction of new water tanks, water lines and sewer lines to provide capacity for the future, but also the rehabilitation or replacement of aging water and wastewater lines.
Will my bill continue to increase?
To reduce the impact of future rate increases on our customers, we anticipate spreading out small rate increases in the coming years to keep up with rising costs and inflation. The goal of the smaller increases is to avoid the need for large increases in the future, which can have a greater impact on our customers’ monthly budgets.
How will BWA invest in our community?
BWA, with recent completion of the Water & Wastewater System Master Plan and CIP, has identified capital improvements needed to ensure we are prepared for future growth in Benbrook. Additionally, BWA regularly evaluates pipes and equipment in the water distribution and wastewater collection systems, determining which areas may require renewal or replacement.
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.