LOUISVILLE, Kentucky (WAVE) – More than 80 million Americans are having trouble paying their bills, according to a US Census household survey.
Electricity bills are high on this list after the moratoria on electricity shutdowns ended during the pandemic.
Recently, the WAVE 3 newsroom received dozens of calls, emails, and messages from Facebook every day with the same question, “Why is my water bill so high?”
We spoke to representatives from the Louisville Water Company and the Louisville Metro Sewer District.
“Louisville Water and Louisville MSD are two separate agencies, but you see us both on the same bill,” said Kelley Dearing-Smith, vice president of communications and marketing for the Louisville Water Company. “This is really useful for our customers.”
Many people take the bill off and pay immediately without seeing what they are being billed for or if the amount of water has changed from month to month. These numbers are important, especially if there is a problem with pipes or plumbing.
“If you’ve never thought about how much water you’re using, I’ll tell people they know your number,” Dearing-Smith exclaimed. “Your bill also includes a graph that shows your water usage. How it goes up and down. Stop and think, was it hot? Have i watered Have I filled my swimming pool? Was it the holidays? Did I have a house full of people? “
Even if you water your yard or grass, you will receive a fee not only from the Louisville Water Company, but also from MSD.
“When the water comes in and when the water goes out,” said Sheryl Lauder, Communications Program Manager at MSD.
The first fee is levied by the Louisville Water Company on any water that enters your home. MSD will then bill you for wastewater and rainwater / wastewater for the same amount of water.
Customers can get a separate meter for an irrigation system through an application. If you have a separate meter for irrigation, called a retrofit meter, you don’t pay MSD wastewater fees.
“When you use the hose to water the flowers or the garden, that’s water going through the meter, so MSD sees this as a usage fee that is converted into the sewer fee,” explains Dearing-Smith.
Many of the letters and messages sent on WAVE 3 News also asked how often Louisville Water customers received their bills. It can vary from customer to customer.
“Louisville Water bills you monthly or bi-monthly,” explained Dearing-Smith. “It’s for the last 30-60 days.”
Louisville Water will continue its multi-year effort to update water meters across Jefferson County. Over the next three years, more than 250,000 Jefferson County customers will move from bimonthly to monthly billing as Louisville Water upgrades meters that track water usage.
Louisville Water also announced that it will invest more than $ 80 million to maintain and upgrade the infrastructure that produces and supplies billions of gallons of Louisville’s drinking water, Louisville Pure Tap ™.
Infrastructure investments include $ 112 million in capital investment, and most of that $ 80 million will be used to replace and repair water pipes and upgrade equipment at Louisville Water’s sewage treatment plants.
Louisville Water will use more than $ 8.3 million from the Kentucky Cleaner Water Fund to start a project to replace a 100-year-old aqueduct along Oak Street, providing service reliability near West Muhammad Ali Improve Street and install pipes to provide water to the people of Bullitt County and improve the water system in Oldham County.
Both Louisville Water and Louisville Metro Sewer District adjust their prices annually.
“Louisville Water will typically see a small increase in January for the average residential consumer each year,” said Dearing-Smith. “Your water bill will go up about 75 cents a month.
“Every August 1st, you’ll get a surge in MSD,” Lauder explained for MSD. “The amount is always based on the need, the urgency of the need at that time.”
MSD’s increase last August was 6.9%. Your payment to MSD helps with wastewater treatment, rainwater supply and flood protection for the entire community.
“It’s these three services, and it’s a combination of aging infrastructure and the needs we have with the EPA to greatly reduce spills into the waterways,” said Lauder.
You can see the consumption tax on your Louisville water bill, which is based on your water usage. The service fee includes the costs of producing your drinking water and transporting it to you – treatment, metering and delivery.
“We were able to keep investing in the water system and keeping the pipes in good condition,” said Dearing-Smith. “We make sure that our drinking water quality is outstanding.”
If you ever feel like your bill is too high, you may need to research. A leak can skyrocket your bill. A leaking faucet can waste up to 19 gallons a day – or 7,000 gallons a year. Just one drop per second for a year adds up to 180 showers.
“It adds up,” says Dearing-Smith. “The most common place we see household leaks is in the toilet.”
The most important thing when you have a leak is to find it and fix it.
Here is a link for training materials on leaks: https://louisvillewater.com/protectyourhome
To make sure your pipes stay clog free, the Louisville Metro Sewer Department also wants you to be careful about what you should and shouldn’t flush your toilet.
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If you’re having trouble paying your home or store bill for Louisville Water or Louisville Metro Sewer District, help is there.
Here is a link for Drops of Kindness, Louisville Water, and MSD’s customer care program: https://louisvillewater.com/DropsofKindness
Copyright 2021 WAVE 3 news. All rights reserved.