New water and sewer rates in Baltimore County took effect July 1 with an average increase of 13.9 percent, according to county officials.
In a press release, County Executive Don Mohler said he was “convinced that Baltimore County has no choice but to increase water and sewer rates immediately to pay for critical improvements to the water and sewer infrastructure across the county.”
Mohler said upgrades are need to “prevent water main breaks and raw sewage from pouring into the Chesapeake Bay and leaking into homes.”
Officials said that among needed projects are the upcoming construction of a filtration plant in Fullerton and upgrades to another plant at Montebello.
County officials announced the increase on June 28. The announcement of new rates is typically made in March or April, but a county spokeswoman said last week the process of finalizing calculations took longer than in previous years. In May, the county administrative officer hinted at the impending increase, telling county council members that rates would have to increase by at least 12.5 percent.
The county has raised water and sewer rates each of the past three years. Last year’s increase was 8.4 percent.
In the release, officials said they expect rates to continue increasing annually for the next few years, though they said “those increases should level off to approximately 6 percent.”
Officials said qualifying property owners whose homes are assessed at $250,000 or less receive an automatic credit toward the rate hike that could result in an increase of no more than $100 for the combined sewer service charge and water distribution charge.
More information is available by calling the Department of Public Works, Metropolitan District Billing Office, at 410-887-2423.
NOTE: This story has been updated to clarify information regarding the credit.