San Antonians’ water bills increasing by about 10%

The rate increase went into effect Jan. 1


SAN ANTONIO – Residential customers of San Antonio Water System will be paying more for water in 2020.

A 9.9% rate increase, approved by City Council in December 2017 to help pay for infrastructure improvements, went into effect on Jan. 1.

Customers should expect to pay about $6.55 more per month on their water bill, SAWS spokesperson Anne Hayden said in November.

SAWS serves more than 1.8 million people throughout the San Antonio area, according to the water utility's website.

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SAWS water bills increased by 5.8% in 2018 and 4.7% in 2019.

The increase has also helped fund the Vista Ridge Pipeline, a 142-mile long water pipeline running from Burleson County to San Antonio. It will be the longest water pipeline in Texas.

The pipeline has been a hot-button issue — beyond its effect on consumers’ water bills — because of a massive loss of trees that resulted from the pipeline’s construction.

“When we adjust rates, it’s not taking from the public and putting it somewhere else. This is ensuring that we invest, together, in the water infrastructure that we own," Mayor Ron Nirenberg said in 2017.

The water bill for the average residential customer is expected to be $72.38, up from $65.83, according to SAWS.

Calculate your estimated monthly residential SAWS bill here.

"76 percent of our customers’ water use never exceeds 7,200 gallons per month," said Hayden.

The motion passed with an 8-3 vote. Council members from Districts 6, 9 and 10 voted against the original proposal in 2017. Read several council members’ comments from the original report here.

The new rates will appear on February bills.

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