Customers of the City of Bowie Water & Sewer System will see a new fee on their bill. The fee, entitled “Renewal and Replacement Fee” was put in place July 1st to help pay for the replacement of aging pipes in the water distribution system.
The City of Bowie Water & Sewer System was constructed in the early 1960s when much of Levitt Bowie was being developed. The system provides service to approximately 7,900 customers, which is less than 40% of all City households. Now over 50 years old, the system is need of upgrading.
The Water System consists of:
- Water Treatment Plant
- 90 miles of water mains
- 3 water storage tanks
- 6 water wells
The Sewer System consists of
- Wastewater Treatment Plant
- 85 miles of collection mains
- 8 pumping stations
A total of 33 employees are involved in some aspect of running the Water & Sewer System.
The system operates as a separate financial entity, which means that the costs of the system are borne only by the system’s customers. No tax revenue supports the system. In order to pay for the necessary upgrades, a new fee of $22.75 was imposed as of July 1, 2017. Work on upgrading the pipes will take place this year in Long Ridge and will continue over the next several years throughout the entire system.
In addition to the new fee, there will also be a rate increase for Fiscal Year 2018. The water rate increase is $.23 per thousand gallons and $.34 for sewer services. For the average household, which uses about 13,000 gallons of water per quarter; this will result in a quarterly increase of $7.41. This will pay for increased costs associated with managing the system. Between the new fee and the rate increase, customers should expect their bill to be approximately $30 more per quarter.
The City wants residents to know that while bill increases are never welcome, in this case they are most necessary and they will help to keep the Bowie Water & Sewer System stable and well maintained for many years to come, so that we do not experience the problems that other aging systems around the country have faced. City officials thank residents for their understanding.