Burr Ridge residents experience water bill sticker shock
Updated: September 3, 2012 12:59PM
BURR RIDGE — Last month’s water bill came as an unpleasant surprise for many in Burr Ridge, where 60 customers received bills of $1,000 or more for water use in May and June and another 20 homeowners spent more than $3,000.
“We were over 4 million gallons a day for all of July and a good part of June,” said Public Works Superintendent Paul May, which set a new record for the village, which receives its water from Lake Michigan through a deal with Bedford Park. The average daily water use in Burr Ridge is 2 million gallons.
A fair share of those gallons flowed from the faucets at Trustee Maureen Wott’s home. Her bill for May and June was $1,013.
“I was surprised,” said Wott, who was watering to keep new sod and landscaping alive during the heat wave.
She’ll continue to protect her investment, but will cut back on the lawn.
“It can just go yellow,” she said. “I’m going to tremendously cut back.”
Village Administrator Steve Stricker said the heat and lack of rain aren’t the only things contributing to higher bills. Chicago’s rate hikes, which were passed on through Burr Ridge’s supplier, are also to blame. While Burr Ridge’s rates remain among the lowest in the suburbs, the cost to the village has increased more than 50 percent over the last three years, and additional hikes are planned.
“It’s a serious problem that’s going to continue,” Stricker said.
The most recent rate hike of 16 percent came in March.
Customers who use between 0 and 70,000 gallons in a two-month billing cycle now pay $4.66 per 1,000 gallons.
Those who use between 70,001 and 90,000 gallons pay $7.99 per 1,000 gallons, and those who use more than 90,001 gallons per billing cycle pay $10.41 per 1,000 gallons.
“You get into the second and third tier, you’re going to be paying a high price for water,” Stricker said.