Evansville city officials outlined some of the changes that are coming to your sewer bills including a substantial rate increase which takes effect this month. The rate increase will help pay for the capital improvements as part of a federally mandated $540 million sewer overhaul project.
The 28 year long project will address the combined sewer overflow system that violates the Clean Water Act. During heavy rains, wastewater and sewage combine and end up in the Ohio River and pigeon creek. These overflow events happen around 50 times a year, according to Allen Mounts, the director of the Evansville Water and Sewer Utility.
Mounts says the goal is to get it down to about 12 overflow events a year.
"It's a massive infrastructure that the utility has," Mounts said. "There are over 800 miles of sewer line, two treatment plants and roughly 2 billion gallons of sewage goes into the Ohio River on an annual basis so it's a big challenge and it's going to be expensive to fix."
One of the changes to your bills will be the word "mandate" prominently displayed on the front.
Mounts says the average increase for residential customers is about 32% The average customer uses 4000 gallons a month and paid $27.12 for that usage. But with this rate increase, that total increases to $35.83.
Residential customers living in the county have similar increases for the same usage, increasing from $36.60 per month to $48.37 per month.
City officials expect industrial and commercial customers to see an increase of about 50%.