Rate Increase in Effect July 1
As of July 1, 2014, a rate increase went into effect on your water usage. The first bills that will show the new charges will go out August 1. Your charges will reflect an increase of $1.10 per 1,000 gallons of water, approximately $4.40 for an average residential customer.
There are two reasons for the increase:
- Operational costs of providing water have increased (materials, stricter regulations, healthcare, fuel, chemicals, no-lead brass and bronze component requirements, and others).
- Sixty-percent of Opelika’s distribution system, the pipes that deliver water to homes and businesses, is well over 50 years old and in need of replacement. This increase will help fund the capital improvement plan to commence the replacement, which will take several decades to complete.
A typical Opelika family pays about $1 per day for water that tastes good, is of the highest quality and delivered to your home 24/7, 365 days a year.
By comparison, you could buy approximately 8.7 gallons of regular gas for a dollar a day for a month. That’s less than half a tank for most cars.
A residence that only uses a minimum of 4000 gallons of water per month would pay close to $4,440 for that same amount of bottled water!
Dan Hilyer, P.E., Opelika Utilities General Manager, said, “Water is not valued at it’s true worth. We have all the water on earth right now we’ll ever have. Wars are fought over water throughout the world. Even here, we have the long-standing disagreement among Alabama, Georgia and Florida about rights to water flowing through the three states. Water is not free.
“We’re so lucky to have a Water Board with the foresight to provide for the long term water needs of our city as well as our daily operational needs. The construction of Saugahatchee Lake and the water treatment plant (WTP) in the 1940’s, the construction of the R. A. Betts WTP in the 1980’s and the construction of the new Saugahatchee WTP in 2013- each of these projects reflect the Board’s vision. Now it’s time to turn attention to our largest asset: Opelika’s water distribution system. Growing numbers of residents and successful economic development bringing new businesses and industries to Opelika depend on a reliable water source.
"Our motto says it in a nutshell: 'Clean, Plentiful Water. Now and Into the Future for Opelika.' ”
Grand Opening! A New Facility Means More And Better Ways To Serve Our Customers
It's been in the planning stage for 10 years. Employees have all contributed ideas for the design of the complex. The Board and management have evaluated countless options from membrane filtration to beneficial bond rates and timing. And now it's here.
Opelika's new W. Warner Williams Water Resource Park at Saugahatchee Lake is a masterpiece of both form and function. LEED certified, the new Water Resource Park encompasses state-of-the-art water treatment plant, distribution and maintenance facilities and an administration building that will make you proud.
This facility can provide up to eight million gallons of water per day. Combined with the Robert A. Betts Water Treatment Plant ’s 16 million gallons per day, this gives Opelika a total output of up to 24 million gallons per day.
Your W. Warner Williams Water Resource Park at Saugahatchee Lake is not just for Opelika today, but for Opelika's growing population and industrial development for decades to come.