Fair and Affordable Sewer Rates - Time to reform MSD Sewer Rates
Sewer rates must be fair and affordable for all residents.
Cincinnati needs to change the outdated rate structure and create incentives for residents to relieve the stress on the outdated, failing sewer system. Unlike modern systems Cincinnati mixes rainwater runoff and human sewage creating contaminated overflows during heavy rains into streets, basements and the Ohio River. Residential customers carry the burden, paying 75% of the cost of treating this mess! MSD charges the owners nothing for stormwater going into its system from large impervious surfaces like parking lots.
We need clean water and fair rates. The County Commission must adopt the following:
● Remove or reduce minimum charges. Charge people for what they use!
● Implement a stormwater charge/fee on impervious surfaces. This fee must be sufficient to cover the stormwater collection, storage and treatment costs ($121,000,000 in 2015) and include the properties contributing stormwater to the MSD system but not paying for the runoff from their properties.
● Eliminate the discount (lower rate) for the large volume water users.
● Create incentives for green infrastructure such as rain barrels, rain gardens, pervious pavement, and water detention on site so that lower amounts of rainwater enter the Combined Sewer System.
● Implement monthly billing without extra cost. Currently you pay more to get a monthly bill instead of a quarterly bill!
● Create an appeals process.
● Institute an affordability program that includes a percentage discount for residents who qualify.
● Bill in gallons instead of cubic feet (CF). Make the bill understandable. Nobody thinks in terms of water pressure and cubic feet in the real world! We think in terms of laundry load, shower and toilet flush.