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City Sewer Rates to Climb 30% Over Four Years

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Aired 4/19/09

San Diego City Council recently voted to raise sewer rates by more than 30 percent over the next four years. But residents in many other cities around the county could see their sewer rates go up as well, because they use the city's treatment plants. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

Two million people in San Diego county depend on the city of San Diego's sewer treatment facilities. That's because the cost of building plants like the one at Point Loma is extraordinary, and smaller cities can't afford it. So, when the cost of service for sewer treatment goes up for San Diego city residents, it goes up for other residents as far south as San Ysidro -- and as far north as Del Mar.

San Diego's Metropolitan Wastewater Department has sent out bills to all its users, with increases to cover their share of the higher cost of service. Residents of other cities are not responsible for repairing the City of San Diego's sewer pipes, but they do have to pick up their share of the tab for the treatment upgrades required by more stringent state and federal laws. Whether sewer rates go up for those residents will depend on if their cities decide to pass on the higher costs that the city of San Diego is now charging them. Alison St John, KPBS news.

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