Rural water rate increase?

cydnote

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Oct 24, 2023
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I live on an acreage and have a well. I built a new house in '95 and although we didn't have access to rural water at the time we knew it was imminent and plumbed for ease of hookup and a couple years later it arrived. All outside use remained on the well. The vein of water tapped by our well (140' deep) is arguably one of hardest around. In the "old house" we had Culligan do a hardness test as we shopped for a new water softener and the hardness exceeded their charts. Besides the cost of salt for treatment the water was over time very hard on dishwashers, toilets, showers, washing machines and the like, so the thought of buying water when we already had availability was easily offset. I don't think the cost for a minimum use of water has increased more than a couple bucks a month in the last 25 years. I just received a letter from Iowa Regional Utilities Assoc. that they found themselves in a dispute with their suppliers on the interpretation of a 40 year old agreement that would increase their water cost from between 172 and 793 percent of what they have been currently paying and that cost passed on to us would cause our bill to double. If this comes to fruition I guess we will bite the bullet and remain a customer but I didn't plan for this in my retirement budget:):):).
 

cydnote

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If the price of anything has only increased by a couple of dollars over the last 25 years you were probably overdue for a substantial rate hike.
I believe the minimum use is 3000 gallons per month and the fee for that has remained fairly constant. I don't know what the cost of water amounts over that have varied.
 

NorthCyd

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I believe the minimum use is 3000 gallons per month and the fee for that has remained fairly constant. I don't know what the cost of water amounts over that have varied.
What's the actual dollar amount we are talking here for the minimum. Is it going from $20 to $40? $30 to $60? Generally you are going to be paying from $10 to $15 dollars per 1000 gallons in Iowa.

Seems like the dispute is with Newton. Here is Newton's side of the argument if you are curious.

 

CYEATHAWK

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Aug 26, 2007
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I live on an acreage and have a well. I built a new house in '95 and although we didn't have access to rural water at the time we knew it was imminent and plumbed for ease of hookup and a couple years later it arrived. All outside use remained on the well. The vein of water tapped by our well (140' deep) is arguably one of hardest around. In the "old house" we had Culligan do a hardness test as we shopped for a new water softener and the hardness exceeded their charts. Besides the cost of salt for treatment the water was over time very hard on dishwashers, toilets, showers, washing machines and the like, so the thought of buying water when we already had availability was easily offset. I don't think the cost for a minimum use of water has increased more than a couple bucks a month in the last 25 years. I just received a letter from Iowa Regional Utilities Assoc. that they found themselves in a dispute with their suppliers on the interpretation of a 40 year old agreement that would increase their water cost from between 172 and 793 percent of what they have been currently paying and that cost passed on to us would cause our bill to double. If this comes to fruition I guess we will bite the bullet and remain a customer but I didn't plan for this in my retirement budget:):):).


If true, then the cost of buying water vs. the culligan man is no longer easily offset and I would be shopping for a new softener.
 

CloneIce

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Typical municipal water rates increase at around 5% per year, historically. That is projected to continue going forward. The same is true of your wastewater bill.
 
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cydnote

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Typical municipal water rates increase at around 5% per year, historically. That is projected to continue going forward. The same is true of your wastewater bill.
this is rural water, not municipal. No wastewater is involved
 

CloneIce

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this is rural water, not municipal. No wastewater is involved
The article linked above indicates the rural water authority receives water from Newton, which is the cause of the rate increase. Newton is a municipality. It is typical that rate increases also apply to wholesale customers like the rural water authority.

The point regarding wastewater costs was provided only for context regarding what is typical within the water industry.
 

1100011CS

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Oct 5, 2007
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Marshalltown
It really sucks for me since I'm 1.5 miles from a Marshalltown water tower which is far superior water than Newton but stuck on IRU from Newton (36 miles away).
 

NorthCyd

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It really sucks for me since I'm 1.5 miles from a Marshalltown water tower which is far superior water than Newton but stuck on IRU from Newton (36 miles away).
IRUA gets water from Marshalltown too. As much as they do from Newton. I'm guessing you have to pay extra for that compared to Marshalltown residents though.
 

cydnote

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Oct 24, 2023
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What's the actual dollar amount we are talking here for the minimum. Is it going from $20 to $40? $30 to $60? Generally you are going to be paying from $10 to $15 dollars per 1000 gallons in Iowa.

Seems like the dispute is with Newton. Here is Newton's side of the argument if you are curious.

Thanks for the additional info. As you can see though, non of the rates exceed $10/1000 and those rates are for the minimum and in most cases the cost is half that or less for the over.
 

cydnote

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If true, then the cost of buying water vs. the culligan man is no longer easily offset and I would be shopping for a new softener.
I only started this post as a rant about rising costs. It would cost considerably more to install and maintain a water treatment system to achieve the same water quality as we receive from IRUA besides the inconvenience
 
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Bestaluckcy

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What perturbed me considering rural water was when they purchased the business in Northeast Iowa, then decided it was appropriate to bill Central Iowa customers for cost of providing service to the Northeast Iowa area.
 

cydnote

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What perturbed me considering rural water was when they purchased the business in Northeast Iowa, then decided it was appropriate to bill Central Iowa customers for cost of providing service to the Northeast Iowa area.
And in return, they are now contemplating charging us in northeast Iowa for the increased cost of the Newton water
 

Bestaluckcy

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And in return, they are now contemplating charging us in northeast Iowa for the increased cost of the Newton water
My suspicion is the increased water cost gets covered by more than 100%.
 

cydnote

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Oct 24, 2023
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My suspicion is the increased water cost gets covered by more than 100%.
I'm sure there is some pricing psychology involved in many businesses: overprice the cost of increases now so we can absorb our future input increases for a while rather than be on the constant defense to our customers