The D.C. Water and Sewer Authority's board of directors has approved a rate increase.
The avereage household's bill would go up by about $6.50 annually -- and, if the increase is approved, it would be the second straight year D.C. Water has ordered a rate hike.
The board will take a final vote in September. In the meantime, D.C. Water plans to hold town halls in each ward to let the public weigh in.
General Manager George Hawkins says the rate increase will help D.C. Water replace the system's aging watermains and pipes which, as he notes, continue to break with increasing frequency.
"We have the funds on hand to fix those breaks, like a bandaid on a cut," Hawkins says. "In this case we want to improve the health of the system, not just fix the problem when it hits, which means replacing some of the older lines, not just putting a patch on them."
The new rates would go into effect Oct. 1.