It has not escaped our attention that there has been quite a bit of concern out there in the community, about October water billing for usage in September.
After the wettest summer in a decade, with more than 16 inches of rainfall in June, July and August, September dried up with a scant .47-inch precipitation total – the driest single month in two years, combined with 20 days where temperatures were above 90 degrees. As a result, water consumption went up 19 percent in September.
Couple that with the unfortunate timing of a scheduled 10 percent rate increase, passed along to the City by our water and wastewater providers, and many residential bills saw a significant spike this month.
You should know that the original proposed residential water and sewer rate increase for this fiscal year was 15 percent. However, the City Council was able to rework commercial rates in order to drop the residential increase back to 10 percent.
You should also know that Farmers Branch is not alone. Many other regional cities are raising rates, including Irving, Addison, Dallas and Carrollton (where they are looking at a 22.5 percent rate increase over the next two fiscal years).
In short, we had a phenomenally dry month that followed a historically wet summer and, as a result, consumption went up. As rainfall and water usage moderates, residential bills will retreat to their customary ranges, plus the 10 percent rate increase.