Water, sewer rates up in ‘23

A 3.74% increase in water rates and a 3.04% increase in sewer rates were approved Thursday by the Northwestern Water and Sewer District Board of Trustees.

The new rates will be effective Jan. 1.

The board passed the 2023 budget to continue to provide over 5.4 million gallons a day of clean drinking water and treat over 850,000 gallons of wastewater daily to improve the quality of our lakes and streams

“Today, 20,000 households and businesses across Northwest Ohio benefit from our current water and sewer system,” said Board Chairman Mark Sheffer in a news release. “It’s our responsibility to not only care for this system but prepare it to meet future challenges – all while keeping rates as low as good service will allow.”

As the district has expanded over the past two decades, it has gradually absorbed a variety of rate structures and funding models to avoid disruptions in customer service or billing.

How the new rates for 2023 will affect individual customer bills will vary on where the customer lives in the district’s service area and who is responsible for their water or sewer treatment.

The district purchases water from six water treatment providers including the cities of Toledo, Bowling Green, Oregon, Fostoria, Napoleon and Perrysburg. For sewer, the district works with those cities and Lucas County to treat wastewater. The district provides water and sewer services to the Village of McComb.

The board also approved a $32 million capital budget that includes $16.4 million for 35 water projects and $15.5 million to be invested in 30 projects in our wastewater network across the district’s five-county service area.

As far as budgeted projects for 2023, the district will construct two regional waterline connections.

A new 8-mile waterline from Weston to provide water service to McClure, Liberty Center and surrounding areas in Henry County. Construction is scheduled to be completed by next summer.

The district will soon begin construction on another 8-mile regional waterline that will supply water from the Village of North Baltimore to the Village of McComb.

Major sewer projects include a new pump station at Ford Road in Perrysburg Township. Federal and state grant programs will assist the district in moving forward on construction for an Ohio EPA-ordered sanitary sewer system near Sugar Ridge in Middleton Township. This project will replace aging septic tanks.