Denver Water raises rates average of 7.5 percent |

Denver Water raises rates average of 7.5 percent

DENVER ” A 20 percent drop in water usage following the 2002 drought is partly to blame for a $49 million shortfall for the state’s largest water utility and a rate hike for customers.

Denver Water’s Board of Commissioners approved a proposal Wednesday to raise rates an average of 7.5 percent for residential water users, or about $19.14 a year per household.

The rate hike takes effect Jan. 1, 2009.

The increase is expected to raise an additional $18.5 million for Denver Water to help cover rising costs, but manager of rate administration John Wright says the utility still expects the shortfall. Included in the utility’s maintenance and operation costs is $10.8 million needed to remove some 1.1 million cubic yards of sediment in the Strontia Springs reservoir south of Denver.

Suburban residential customers who get their water through distributors under contract to Denver Water will see an average increase of $33.12 a year.

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