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Officials Urge S.D. to Improve Water and Sewer Systems

State and Federal agencies say San Diego’s water and sewer systems are on the brink of a crisis if the city doesn’t pay for improvements soon. The council is meeting today to warn customers of a pro

Officials Urge S.D. to Improve Water and Sewer Systems

State and Federal agencies say San Diego’s water and sewer systems are on the brink of a crisis if the city doesn’t pay for improvements soon. The council is meeting today to warn customers of a proposed rate increase. KPBS reporter Alison St John has more.

The city cannot raise water and sewer rates without giving residents and businesses details of what the money will be used for. Then, if more than 50 percent of customers write in to protest, the rate increases cannot go through.

Brian Barnadas is an engineer with the California Department of Health Services that regulates the water system. He warned that the city is already dangerously behind in replacing its aging pipes and pump stations

Barnadas: We are deeply concerned about the city’s failure to meet the time lines of the consent decree, this may lead to an inability to supply adequate safe drinking water to every person and business in the future.

A spokesperson for the Federal Environmental Protection Agency said the time has come for the city to act. If it doesn’t it will face a federal lawsuit later this year. City council will hold a public hearing on the proposed rate increases in February. Alison St John KPBS News.