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Water and Sewer Rate Increase Reflected In Latest Billing

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In 2019, the City Council approved an increase in the City’s water and sewer rates, which was not implemented until 2022 due to the adverse economic impacts of the pandemic on the West Chicago population. At that time (2019), there was an expectation that rates would once again increase in either 2022 or 2023. The year 2022 marked the first time the City of West Chicago raised its water rates since 2006 and sewer rates since 2008. Cities across the country are grappling with aging infrastructure that’s costly to repair. Additionally, the City is not immune to the inflation experienced across the globe as well as supply chain issues that are severely impacting costs of our infrastructure projects and commodities.

Here are just a few examples from this past year:

Item Budgeted Actual/Estimated % Increase
Chemicals* $625,000 $877,000 140%
SCADA System Upgrade Modernization Project $475,000 $850,000 179%
Security System Camera Installation Project $40,000 $71,000 178%
Refuse Disposal (Lime Sludge Removal) $880,000 $1,240,500 141%
Building Joint Sealant $116,000 $140,000 121%
Lab Supplies $15,000 $21,000 140%
Building Repair Parts $10,000 $21,100 211%
Electric $260,000 $305,000 117%
Distribution Parts and Equipment $70,000 $123,100 176%
Influent Headworks Project $210,000 $385,000 183%
Backup Power Feed $150,000 $400,000 267%
Sanitary Collection – parts for vehicles $25,000 $60,000 240%
Increased Costs – Water $2,491,000 $3,648,700 146%
Increased Costs – Sewer $385,000 $845,000 219%
* year over year comparison


“Average water and sewer bills — they are often combined — have increased about 50 percent over the last decade, according to Bluefield Research, an advisory firm, and are expected to continue to rise. Rates vary, but the average monthly bill for water nationally was about $49 last year, up from $32 in 2012. (The numbers are based on average monthly household water use in the 50 largest U.S. cities.) Inflation is one reason for the increase, along with supply chain disruptions and the cost of replacing older pipes and equipment, said Charlie Suse, an analyst with Bluefield. Some cities delayed rate increases during the pandemic and are now catching up.” – Source NY Times

The City of West Chicago attempted to make residents aware an increase in water and sewer rates, and also posted a reminder on their website (view here) with an update on the municipality’s website on May 30th in an attempt to remind residents about the increase being implemented during the July / August water billing statement period. Yet some residents are voicing concerns over the large increase.  Previously water rates in West Chicago were lower and are now increased to: $9.00 per 1000 gallons. Sewer rates also increased to $10.30 per 1000 gallons.

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2 thoughts on “Water and Sewer Rate Increase Reflected In Latest Billing

  1. There is nothing the residents can do about the increase in water and sewage – Same as the printed news not being mailed who cares if you have a computer or not – Who cares if the outside of houses look like crap or many many people living in the same house – Who cares if businesses come and go – Who cares if we have multiple waste stations- and many other things-
    Everybody should care BUT I am glad our Wildcat Football Team is having a good season – Good Luck

    1. Thank you for your input, At the West Chicago Voice we encourage residents to get involved in the process by attending city council or board of Education meetings. You’re right, After decisions are made there isn’t anything to be done except complain. Residents need to be a part of the discussion and the only way to do that is to be involved and proactive. We are doing our best to bring awareness to issues in the community, so that people are aware but the community as a whole should get involved. We publish letters to the editor and we encourage you (or anyone else) to send us your letters via email: WestChicagoVoice@gmail.com

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