New water rates have Richmond residents paying more

Posted at 6:43 PM, Jul 26, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-29 06:53:46-04

RICHMOND, Va (WTVR) -- While many Richmond residents assumed the city's new water rates would save them money, CBS 6 has discovered at least half of the city’s residents will be paying more.

Richmond resident Margo Moore emailed the station wondering why her water bill was in the triple digits for the first time.

“I was very upset. I got on my husband because I thought he was using too much water,” said Moore. “My actual bill is going to be $108.76."

In fact, Moore thought she'd be saving money after the city significantly reduced its water base fee from $49 to $26.

CBS 6 News' Lorenzo Hall contacted Richmond Department of Public Utilities Spokesperson Angela Fountain about Moore's Bill. She said at least half of the city’s residents will be paying more per month.

That's because while the base fee was lowered, residents are paying much more for usage. The city of Richmond measures water consumption in CCFs or hundred cubic feet. One CCF equals 748 gallons of water.

Previously, the city charged $1.63 per CCF of water. Now, it's at $3.21. For waste water, it used to be $2.59 per CCF, but that went up to $5.82.

This means the only way to save is to cut back on usage. Moore tells us, she feels like she's being cheated.

“I feel like, the city of Richmond, we pay the highest fees compared to the counties,” she said.

CBS 6 crunched a few more numbers and found that Richmond residents pay double or sometimes triple the amount for water usage, compared to those in the surrounding counties.