Pickerington water and sewer rates unchanged for ninth year

For the ninth consecutive year, residents of Pickerington will not face rate increases for water and sanitary sewer services.

The city council voted unanimously on April 5 to keep water rates at $4.16 per 1,000 gallons for use and $9.13 per 1,000 gallons for sewer use.

“The city’s investments in its water and sewage works have been completed for many years and are therefore using built-in capacity to defer major capital expenditures,” City Manager Greg Butcher said. “The capacity charge has helped pay down debt and fund future needs.”

In June 2010, the city completed an approximately $10.9 million project to increase the capacity of its wastewater treatment plant from 1.6 million gallons per day to 3.2 million gallons per day, said Chris Schornack, chief financial officer of Pickerington.

Pickerington last completed its water treatment plant expansion in 2002 at a cost of $3.9 million, Schornack said.

Pickerington Water Treatment Plant Operator Brady West transfers chemicals from the bulk storage tank to the day tank.  For the ninth consecutive year, rates for water and sanitary sewer services will not increase for residents.

Unlike many towns in central Ohio, Pickerington is not dependent on the city of Columbus for water. Instead, it draws its water from two well fields – one on Diley Road and one near Sycamore Park.

“The city uses groundwater as a source of drinking water,” said Don Rector, Pickerington’s utility manager. “The wellfield water is treated using iron removal filters as well as a reverse osmosis process.”

While residents of Pickerington will not see an increase in their water and sewer rates, some communities in central Ohio will not.

In January 2021, Reynoldsburg, which gets its water from the city of Columbus, increased water rates by 3%, from $8.36 to $8.61 per 1,000 gallons. Around this time, Reynoldsburg also increased sewage rates by 4%, from $8.62 to $8.96 per 1,000 gallons.

The increases came after Reynoldsburg City Council approved a 3% increase in 2019 and 4% in 2020.

Similarly, the City of Gahanna, which also gets its water supply from Columbus, increased its water and sewer rates in January 2021 by 4.9%. The move increased the service’s combined costs from $17.07 per 1,000 gallons to $17.91 per 1,000 gallons.

The town of Bexley implemented a 4% increase in water charges and 5% in sewer charges in January.

Bexley town leaders said the increases were tied to rising costs for the city of Columbus, Bexley’s water supplier. The move increased water costs to $63.86 per 1,000 cubic feet and sewer costs to $81.33 per 1,000 cubic feet.

“Water and sewer bills are expenses you will always have, but managing these utilities in the best possible way helps keep more money in the pockets of our residents,” the mayor said. of Pickerington, Lee Gray. “It’s a victory.”

Pickerington Councilman Kevin Kemper said council’s unanimous vote to keep water and sewer rates the same as they have been since 2013 is “a testament to the efficiency of our professional staff from the city”.

He added that the city is in an “enviable position” given that it is not dependent on Columbus for water and because of the work done over the past 15 years to upgrade water and sewer treatment plants. from the city.

“Our infrastructure is fairly early in its life cycle and our collections are such that we can maintain our current infrastructure while saving for the future,” Kemper said. “It’s a real benefit for our residents.”