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City of Abilene water, sewage users to see increase in monthly bills, starting in November

Published On: Dec 24 2013 07:32:25 AM CST   Updated On: Sep 26 2013 10:36:17 AM CDT
ABILENE, Texas -

Abilene Mayor Norm Archibald wants to make it clear to water customers that you'll see an increase on your bills very soon.

The City of Abilene is moving forward with plans to use the Hamby Water Treatment Plant to create reclaimed, effluent water that will be pumped back into Lake Fort Phantom.

And to pay for the project, your bills are going up.

Here's a breakdown of the rate increases:

For a household that uses 5,000 gallons a month, that bill comes to $37.75.

For the first phase of the project, the next year and a half, that average bill will go up to $43.50, an increase of $5.75.

Then, during the second phase of the water project, starting in October 2014, that bill would go up to $46.00.

At the end of both phases, this means an overall increase of $8.25 a month, or $99 a year.

The mayor said there was no other alternative to meet the city's growing water needs in dry West Texas.

"Today, we do not see any other alternatives other than, number one, putting treated, effluent water back into Phantom," Archibald said. "We cannot stand by idle and believe that we will just wait for the next rain."

The idea of reclaiming waste water isn't a new one.

Big Spring already reclaims their waste water and Brownwood is getting it started.

"We cannot afford to not do this," Archibald said.

The rates go into effect in October, but you won't see the increase until your November bill.

The price tag for the Hamby Water Treatment Plant upgrade is approximately $70 - $74 million.

The city hopes this will help our growing water needs until the Cedar Ridge Reservoir is built, but that's probably 10 years from completion.

Cedar Ridge will be built about 40 miles north of Abilene.