Innovation and Efficiency Efforts Lead to No Water, Sewer Rate Increases

Nov. 13, 2012

City Hall Obelisk with StarburstThe Phoenix City Council Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee today heard a proposal for no increases to water and sewer rates for the 2013-14 fiscal year.  This follows significant savings and efficiencies within the city’s Water Services Department, and marks the first time in 20 years Phoenix residents will see no increases in both water and wastewater rates.

“Phoenix is a leader with providing quality service and infrastructure, and our water and sewer system is a great example,” said Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton.  “We are able to meet the community’s needs, while keeping rates low.”

“Phoenix will continue to provide efficient, safe and reliable water and sewer services, and give residents the fifth-lowest water and sewer bill of the nation’s 20 largest cities,” said Councilwoman Thelda Williams, chairwoman of the subcommittee.   

Water Services completed an innovation and efficiency study this year, reviewed by a citizen’s advisory panel, which led to $20.8 million in savings, including: reduced chemical costs, eliminating an additional 33 positions, energy conservation measures, reduced debt service from the sale of the city’s McMullen Valley property, sewer operating efficiencies and revenue increases due to the improved economy.

“Our success is due to the leadership from Mayor and Council, input from the private sector and great ideas from city water employees,” said City Manager David Cavazos.  “We are  enhancing Phoenix’s water and sewer infrastructure, keeping costs low for residents and businesses, maintaining the city’s AAA bond rating, and meeting or exceeding all federal environmental requirements.”

The proposal for no increases will now go to the full City Council for review.  Water Services’ five-year capital improvement program maintains funding for rehabilitation and replacement, required capacity for future growth, and the ability to meet or exceed all federal environmental standards.  

Earlier this year, Phoenix City Council approved implementing a combined rate adjustment for the 2012-13 fiscal year, with no net increase for single-family residential customers.  Sewer rates dropped by 7.5 percent and water rates increased by 4.5 percent.

You can view a replay of the City Council Transportation and Infrastructure Subcommittee discussion at 8 p.m. tonight on PHX11 or visit

Media Contact:

Toni Maccarone 602-262-7176