Utilities News

The Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utility Commission approved today a 9.75 percent increase in water rates and a 9.75 percent increase in sewer rates, effective Oct. 1.

When the rate increase takes effect, the monthly water and sewer bill for the average household in Winston-Salem using 9,000 gallons of water will be $34.09 or $1.12 a day; last year the average household paid $1.05 a day. The table below shows how the rate increase will affect various customers after Oct 1.

Cost per Month



Typical Fast Food


High Water Usage
Industrial Customer




Current Cost






Proposed Cost






Net increase






Despite the increase, Utilities Director David Saunders noted that Winston-Salem continues to offer the lowest water and sewer rates among North Carolina’s largest cities. Next year the estimated average monthly water and sewer bill with a consumption of 9,000 gallons will be $38.12 in Greensboro, $47.16 in Raleigh, $49.28 in Durham and $45.37 in Charlotte.

“This rate increase is driven by our need to maintain an environmentally responsible water system that produces an excellent product, and in order to do that we must consistently invest in our system,” Saunders said.

Saunders noted that most of the rate increase is needed to cover the debt service for capital improvements that will maintain the utilities system. The operating budget will increase by only $799,390, while the debt service portion of the budget will increase by $2,231,060. “While we are holding our operating costs as flat as we can so our customers receive the lowest possible rate increase, a significant impact on the total expenditures is the increasing debt service requirements,” Saunders said. As

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