AlexRenew faces evolving challenges such as increasingly strict regulations and managing wet weather flows, which are expected to worsen with climate change. As Northern Virginia’s population increases and more businesses locate here, Alexandria’s infrastructure must keep pace in a sustainable way.
To meet these rising demands, AlexRenew’s citizen-led board proposed, and during a public hearing on Sept. 20 accepted, a 1.5% annual increase in our overall revenue over each of the next two years starting October 1, 2016.
What does this mean for our customers?
- A typical residential customer will see an increase of approximately $0.61 on their monthly bill.
- Commercial customers will pay an increase based on the size of their meters.
- The Wastewater Treatment Charge of $6.77 per 1,000 gallons will not change in 2016 or 2017 for either residential or commercial customers.
- We are eliminating the security deposit of $75 that customers pay to initiate service. Instead, all new customers will pay a nonrefundable $15.00 service initiation fee to cover the costs required to initiate service. Current customers who have paid their security deposit to us will see a credit on their bill in the amount of the deposit paid.
What will the increase pay for?
This increase enables AlexRenew to invest in capital projects, including both new and existing infrastructure upgrades as well as replacement of existing fixed assets. More specifically, customer’s base charge enables AlexRenew to purchase and maintain equipment, develop new technologies, and build new facilities to ensure you always have reliable wastewater treatment and we meet or exceed regulatory requirements.
Some projects this increase will fund include:
- Upgrades to key operating systems, such as UV disinfection, which neutralizes any disease-causing bacteria in the water we clean, and our SCADA system, which allows our team to remotely monitor and control the water cleaning process.
- Improvements to preliminary and primary treatment processes to replace equipment at the end of its useful life, to remove large solids more efficiently, and to accommodate more dirty water based on the City of Alexandria’s Long Term Control Plan Update.
- Improvements in solids handling and energy capture to support investments in our State-of-the-Art Nitrogen Upgrade Program, which involved a series of projects implemented to meet nitrogen standards that protect the Chesapeake Bay.
Why do the rates need to increase?
- We face evolving challenges such as increasingly strict regulations and managing wet weather flows, which are expected to worsen with climate change.
- As Northern Virginia’s population increases and more businesses locate here, Alexandria’s infrastructure must keep pace in a sustainable way.
- Since 2010, our gross plant investments have increased 35.5% to better protect both public health and the environment. The Potomac River is at its healthiest level in several generations thanks to the efforts and investments of the region’s wastewater utilities, like AlexRenew. This increase will help continue these improvements, so that one day our citizens can swim in the Potomac without hesitation.