For the ninth consecutive year, Pickerington residents won’t face rate increases for water and sanitary sewer services.
City Council voted unanimously April 5 to keep water rates at $4.16 per 1,000 gallons of use and $9.13 per 1,000 gallons for sewer use.
“The city’s investments in its water and sewer plants have been completed for many years and thus, utilizing built-in capacity to defer large capital expenditures,” City Manager Greg Butcher said. “Capacity fees have helped pay off debt and fund future needs.”
In June 2010, the city completed an approximately $10.9 million project to increase capacity at its sewage treatment plant from 1.6 million gallons per day to 3.2 million gallons per day, Pickerington Finance Director Chris Schornack said.
Pickerington last completed an expansion to its water treatment plant in 2002 at a cost of $3.9 million, Schornack said.
Unlike many central Ohio cities, Pickerington does not rely on the city of Columbus for water. Instead, it gets its water from two well fields – one on Diley Road and one near Sycamore Park.
“The city utilizes groundwater as its source of drinking water,” said Don Rector, Pickerington’s service director. “The water from the well field is treated utilizing iron-removal filters as well as a reverse osmosis process.”
While Pickerington residents again will not see an increase to their water and sewer rates, that’s not the case in some central Ohio communities.
In January 2021, Reynoldsburg, which gets its water from the city of Columbus, raised water rates by 3%, from $8.36 to $8.61 per 1,000 gallons. At that time, Reynoldsburg also raised wastewater rates by 4%, from $8.62 to $8.96 per 1,000 gallons.
Those increases came after Reynoldsburg City Council approved a 3% increase in 2019 and a 4% increase in 2020.
Likewise, the city of Gahanna, which also gets its water from Columbus, increased water and sewer rates in January 2021 by 4.9%. The move increased the combined costs for service from $17.07 per 1,000 gallons to $17.91 per 1,000 gallons.
The city of Bexley implemented a 4% increase for water fees and a 5% hike for sewer fees in January.
Bexley city leaders said the increases were tied to rising costs from the city of Columbus, Bexley’s water supplier. The move raised water costs to $63.86 per 1,000 cubic feet, and sewer costs went up to $81.33 per 1,000 cubic feet.
“Water and sewer bills are expenses you’re always going to have, but by us managing these utilities the best way possible, that keeps more money in the pockets of our residents,” Pickerington Mayor Lee Gray said. “That’s a win.”
Pickerington City Councilman Kevin Kemper said council’s unanimous vote to keep water and sewer rates at the same levels they’ve been since 2013 is “testament to the efficiency of our professional city staff.”
He added the city is in an “enviable position” given that it doesn’t rely on Columbus for water and because of the work done over the past 15 years to upgrade the…