Water and sewer upkeep is a problem many customers across the Hoosier state are facing. That means more people are affected by water main breaks and in some cases a bump in taxes. This ongoing problem has many people on edge.
Some people in Newburgh have been taking to social media expressing their concerns about their sewer bill being on the rise. Other residents say they share the same frustrations and have been more mindful of their resources.
“Water and sewer are always our lower bills, especially sewer,” says Kimberly Warren. “It was always a low thing and now it’s like, ‘gosh again?'”
Newburgh sewer officials weren’t able to talk to 44News on camera, but they tell us sewer bill amounts are contingent on how much water you use. Although, some people say that’s not what they notice.
“Normally my water bill would be around $20, and then this month it was $38,” says Katie Taylor. She says this month her sewer bill only raised by three dollars, not $18 like her water bill. Although, she says her sewer bill is always significantly higher than her typical water bill amount. “$56 for sewer is a little high.”
Kimberly Warren says several months ago, her husband noticed their sewer bill was getting up there in price as well.
“We’ve had a talk with me and our kids about water, waste, sewer because all of the bills are going up right now,” says Warren. For this reason, her family is watching how much water they use. “We are watching what we do. Showers, flushing, all that kind of stuff. Enough that my husband has said, ‘Hey we need to watch this. We need to get a handle on this.'”
Some people say they hope a portion of the money they are paying, for water and sewer, go towards replacing old pipes and storm drains.
“In my neighborhood, there is a lot of flooding because of the drains,” says Taylor. “It’s not even that they’re [the storm drains] not cleaned out because they are cleaned out. They are just not big enough.”
This has been discussed among Newburgh town officials. They were considering a $3 monthly bill increase.
Water bills have been increasing in Evansville, with a projected increase of nearly 37% between 2019 and 2021 since the utility infrastructure needs to be replaced, several decades after being installed.
New Harmony officials say they will eventually follow suit as they will need to fund a similar project in years to come.