What is the value of water? A Windsor Town Board Special Meeting at 5:30 p.m., Monday, November 19, will be dedicated to discussing the town’s Water Master Plan and water rates.
Potable water—also referred to as treated water—has a few variables that go into its cost. Specific to Monday’s meeting, the board will discuss Windsor’s need to cover the costs of maintaining existing infrastructure, secure current and future water resources to align with the town’s anticipated growth, and while Windsor’s staff and town board have been researching how rates cover actual costs, there will be further discussion regarding Windsor’s Water Utility water rates.
Part of customers’ costs include the resources it takes to deliver safe, reliable potable water to existing and future homes and businesses. Before water reaches a home or business, it goes through a treatment plant where it is collected, cleaned, filtered, disinfected, and tested for safety. Then, miles of pipe deliver water to Windsor Water Utility customers, and those pipes require maintenance and replacement as they age.
In general, Windsor Utility customers typically see an annual rate increase of 5 percent or less in January, which is reflected in the February water bill.
“The Town of Windsor isn’t in the business of making a profit from water billing, it’s in the business of making sure that residents’ and businesses’ cost of water is enough so the water utility can continue to deliver water in a safe and consistent manner,” says Windsor Finance Director Dean Moyer.
Depending on their location in the town, Windsor’s Utility customers may pay for the following: water consumption fees, wastewater services, storm sewer maintenance and operations, and annual mosquito control costs. In early 2018, Windsor Utility customers saw an increase to their stormwater rates to cover the cost of the town’s federal compliance in stormwater collection and reporting and the annual average 5 percent increase to water costs.
To ensure future water resources, Windsor is one of 15 northern Colorado Front Range water providers involved in the proposed Northern Integrated Water Supply Project (NISP). NISP, as planned, could provide 40,000 acre-feet of raw water, with 3,300 acre-feet (8.25%) dedicated to Windsor.
NISP’s final environmental impact statement is complete and a record of decision is expected in 2019.
Windsor currently pulls its treatable water supply from the Colorado Big Thompson Project.
Conservation is Key
Windsor’s Town Board sets water rates based on cost of service. The customer’s final cost is based on how much water they use.
There are a few ways Windsor Utility customers can conserve and save on their water consumption and potentially lower the cost of their water bill:
· Wash full loads of laundry and dishes, rather than partial loads.
· Replace older toilets with a WaterSense high efficiency model.
· Check for and repair leaks.
· Take shorter showers.
· Install a high efficiency showerhead to save about 1 gallon of water per minute.
· Install aerators on faucets
· Turn off the sink when brushing teeth.
· Know where the master water valve shut-off is located. If a pipe bursts, this could prevent damage and save many gallons of water.
For more information about the Town of Windsor, visit windsorgov.com.