Denver Public Works
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE June 14, 2015
Wastewater Rate Increase to Protect Against Flooding, Update Aging Infrastructure and Keep Pace with Growth
DENVER, CO – Following a meeting that went into early Tuesday morning, the Denver Public Works Department received approval from Denver City Council to increase annual storm and sanitary sewer rates to help address a backlog of needed storm drainage improvements and keep pace with growth.
The fee increase, which is implemented over a five-year period starting in 2016, will support $383M in citywide storm drainage improvements, water quality projects, and allow the city to keep pace with annual sanitary system cost increases. The rate increase will also help fund the Platte to Park Hill Stormwater Systems program, which aims to protect life and property in neighborhoods east and north of downtown that are most at risk for flooding. More about the Platte to Park Hill projects can be found at www.denvergov.org/plattetoparkhill.
With the rate increase, the city will be able to invest about $30 million annually in stormwater capital improvement projects citywide - up from $20M annually. Denver will also be able to increase the amount it spends on its sanitary sewer system from an average of $2.5M per year to an average of $8M per year over five years.
“Denver Public Works is grateful to Council for this opportunity to make a greater investment in our city’s basic storm and sanitary sewer infrastructure, to address aging and inadequate systems, reduce flood risks, improve water quality and protect lives and property,” said Jose Cornejo, Executive Director of Denver Public Works.
As a result of the rate increase, the average residential rate payer will pay roughly $23 more per year for the next five years for both storm and sanitary bills combined. Denver’s storm and sanitary bill rates are currently about $100 lower than the average for other larger Colorado cities. With these proposed rate changes, Denver would be about $60 below the average in 2017, when the first full year of the rate change takes effect.
Denver Wastewater customers will receive information about how the rate change will impact their bills and what it will fund when they receive their bills.