Fort Bend Municipal Utility District No. 23 (FBMUD 23) is constantly looking for ways to enhance our systems as we continue our mission to provide our residents with clean and dependable water and sewer service. To that end, we have decided to institute some changes to the rate order, something we have not done since August 2014.
Over the last year our Board of Directors, in conjunction with our District Operator Municipal District Services, has been conducting a water rate study in an effort to make sure our rates both support our infrastructure needs as well as encourage responsible water usage. Our goals in this effort were to determine if there was a way to encourage water conservation in the higher tier users and reward those residents who are using smart water practices.
What have we learned?
On average, a majority of residents use less than 5,000 gallons of water a month. Of those who use more, the usage varies widely from 7,000 to 20,000 and tends to correlate directly with irrigation practices and whether or not the home has a pool; less than 2% use amounts in excess of 21,000.
By following usage statistics from winter months and comparing them to the same households during the summer watering season, we believe many high water users could greatly reduce their consumption by adopting a few “smart” water practices.
With this in mind, we have modified our tiered rate system to encourage people to conserve this precious resource.
New Water Rates
The base flat rate of $15.75 covers any usage up to 5,000 gallons which is where most people fall; for every 1,000 gallons of water usage above that amount, the new tiered rates apply. The tiered rates are broken down in the graphic to the right:
What this means for the average residential user is a $0.25 increase in the water service portion of their monthly bill. Once a user goes over 20,000 gallons in a monthly billing period, then the increase becomes a little larger per month, with users over 50,000 potentially experiencing an almost $50 increase in their bill each month. This is to encourage smart water usage and conservation practices.
There is also a flat $2.00 increase in the sewer rate for each connection. This is to offset rising costs in processing and disposing of wastewater. Materials, labor, and operations have all increased in the last five years, and this increase will help rehabilitate portions of the aging infrastructure, some of which was installed as far back as 1985.
For more information on how it breaks down for each household, see the rate graphic below and compare it to your usage each month for an idea of what your bill would look like moving forward:
The new rate will be effective February 1, 2020 for all residents within FBMUD 23.