D.C. Water says it needs the rate hike to help pay for a major capitol project and to begin replacing the system's aging water mains and sewer lines.
"I think most people are aware of the constant drumbeat of lines that are breaking," says D.C. Water General Manager George Hawkins.
And he says to actually replace the pipes -- and not just fix them, which Hawkins compares to a bandaid, a signifigant rate increase is needed to fund the Capital Replacement Program.
D.C. Water will hold town hall hearings in each ward before taking a final vote in September. If approved, the rate hike goes into effect Oct. 1.