June water bills rise for Westchester residents

New water meters may bring further increases | File

New water meters may bring further increases 

June 6, 2023 | By Francia Garcia Hernandez

Westchester residents will see an increase in their June water bills as the village applies the increase in water rates, effective May 1, to the upcoming June water bills, due for payment in July. 

The increase is mandated by a 2017 village ordinance (2017-2237) that established the annual rate increases for Westchester’s domestic and commercial users. The new rate for water usage is $12.36 per thousand gallons.  

The village will also charge a garbage fee, effective July 1 through June 30, 2024. Non-seniors will pay $55.04 and seniors will pay $47.19 with their discount on a bi-monthly basis. 

Sewer rates will be $1.50 per thousand gallons of water and the sewer infrastructure fee will be $6 per month, the same amount as the monthly water infrastructure fee. 

Some Westchester residents were surprised by the increase, as expressed on social media, because they did not receive advance notice. The update was posted on the village’s website on May 28. The announcement was also included in the village’s June 2023 newsletter.  

The increase in rates comes as the village began its water meter replacement program, which, according to the village administration, will replace around 6,400 of 7,000 residential water meters. According to the village, most current water meters are over 20 years old. With age, water meters lose accuracy resulting in “unaccounted water usage, loss from waste and lost revenue.”  

For some residents, new meters may bring increases in their water bills down the line as their old meter may have been inaccurately functioning and measuring their home’s water usage, though the village will not test each water meter to determine how inaccurate each meter was.  

It is estimated that residents will see a $12 to $22 cost increase in their bi-monthly bill, after the meters are replaced, according to the village. Residents will not be charged for any unaccounted water from their old meter, the village said.  

The village contracted Core & Main in 2022 to replace aging water meters, and they contracted with United Meters Inc. to install the new water meters. As a result, residents can expect a licensed plumber from United Members Illinois to visit their homes to replace their water meters.  

There is no cost for residents to replace the water meter but they may have to pay for replacing their main shut-off valve if it is inoperable. The replacement fee is $250 unless residents choose to replace them on their own. If so, residents will have to hire a licensed Illinois plumber registered in Westchester and apply for a village permit at no cost. In addition, if a bonded jumper cable is needed, residents can choose to have it installed for a $50 fee. 

Water usage restrictions are also in effect throughout the village from May 15 through September 15, when residents are restricted from watering their outdoor areas, cleaning outdoor surfaces and building and filling up pools from 12 pm to 6 pm.  

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