Sewer rates are going up for residents of Antioch, Bay Point and Pittsburg.
The 6.5 percent increase will raise the yearly cost of wastewater treatment service provided by Delta Diablo Sanitation District by $16.60 to $273.10 in those three East County communities. The wastewater treatment bill is included on property tax bills.
When city collection fees are factored in that transport wastewater from homes to the district's treatment plant, Antioch residents will pay a yearly total of $428.28 and Pittsburg residents will pay a yearly total of $462.60. These collection fees for the amounts over the Delta Diablo wastewater services show up on monthly water bills sent out by those cities. Collection fees are set by the cities.
Bay Point residents, whose collection service is provided by Delta Diablo, will pay an annual amount of $395.28, with all of that amount showing up on their property tax bills.
"There are two components to the wastewater treatment system. The amount that is the same for everybody is for the treatment and transportation of wastewater through the (district's) big pumping station," said Karen Ustin, business services director for the district.
The rate hike goes into effect July 1. It was approved earlier this month by a 3-0 vote of the district's board of directors.
More than half of the 6.5 percent increase is needed to pay for operation and maintenance of the treatment plants, pump stations and pipelines along with replacement and repair of aging facilities on a system that is more than 30 years old. The remaining amount will be reserved to pay for an advanced treatment facility that will be built at a later date to meet new regulatory requirements.
Even with the rates hikes, Delta Diablo rates are below both regional and national averages, Ustin said.
The district has had annual rate increases since 2000. If the district did not have small rate hikes on an annual basis, it would have to have a big rate hike in the future to pay for the advanced treatment facility, she said.
"It's a plan to finance the future requirements that we see coming down the road," said Pittsburg Mayor Nancy Parent, who sits on the district's board of directors.
Contact Eve Mitchell at 925-779-7189. Follow her on Twitter.com/EastCounty_Girl.