Residents and businesses connected to Canal Winchester's water and sewer system will pay higher rates starting in 2021.

The ordinances approved By City Council Sept. 17 propose no increases in 2019 and 2020 and 2 percent increases in 2021 and 2022.

"Usage has gone up with an increase in population, but we were able to hold steady for two years, and we felt good about that," Councilman Mike Coolman said.

Currently, the city's approximately 2,800 residential and business customers pay $6.33 for each 1,000 gallons of water used and $5.88 for each 1,000 gallons of sewer service.

A typical family of four uses around 4,000 gallons of water monthly, which equates to a bill of $50, Public Works Director Matt Peoples said.

The new schedule will bump water rates to $6.46 per 1,000 gallons in 2021 and $6.59 per 1,000 gallons in 2022. Sewer rates will increase to $6 and $6.12 per 1,000 gallons in those years, respectively.

Council last approved rate increases in 2014, pushing water rates up by 2 percent each year from 2015 to 2018. Sewer rates remained the same in 2015 and 2016 but went up by 2 percent in 2017 and 2018.

Peoples works with City Finance Director Amanda Jackson to project expenses and growth. He said they also take new regulations and trends into consideration.

The cost of chemicals, personnel, repairs and maintenance are factored into rates, Peoples said. More recently, crews repaired the city's oldest water line, which dated back to the 1930s.

Also, the city rolled out a multiyear water meter-reading project last year, which is designed to phase out old equipment and deliver new technologies involving a radio-read system.

Residences and businesses are using technology that provides a more efficient way to read meters and detect leaks and unusually high usage, according to Peoples. The system collects data and sends it to a website for the city to review.

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