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"Massive" increase coming to San Antonio

The largest water rate increase ever is heading your way next year, according to officials of the San Antonio Water System.

The San Antonio Water System board will request a 13 1/2 percent increase in water rates, on top of the 10% increase imposed earlier this year.

"The water supply fee, where the money goes to new water resources, and then the water delivery and the wastewater or sewer fees, all combined, would add about five dollars to the average (monthly) bill," SAWS spokesman John Boggess said.

He says even though the Edwards Aquifer is at historically high levels and the droughts of the nineties are, at least for now, a memory, it is critical that SAWS obtain new sources of water.

He says much of the money will also go to fix the city's decaying underground water and sewer infrastructure. Last summer's sewer line break near Lady Bird Johnson Park is an indication of the perils facing underground pipes, many of which are nearly a century old.

"I think a lot of folks know that we have an old system underground here, and we've seen a lot of failures in the infrastructure in the past several years," Boggess said.

He said the 13 1/2% water rate increases will be considered by the SAWS board and by city council later this month, and will take effect in January.

"The water that's used in January would be billed under the new rates, which would then be reflected in the February bills."