Sioux Falls City Council Approves Sewer Rate Increase and Wastewater System Upgrade

SIOUX FALLS, S.D.- Wastewater utility rates will soon go up in Sioux Falls. Sioux Falls City Council approved a rate increase last night to pay for a $260 million waste water system.  

Starting in 2020 sewer rates will go up six percent. The average household will see their monthly bills increase by about $2. Sewer bills will continue to go up through 2023 with yearly rate increases. By 2023, the average homeowner will be paying a little over $6 more a month.

“It affects everybody and cities across the country are facing the ever increasing cost of wastewater treatment and it’s a federal permit we have to maintain based on the water equality that we discharge back into the river,” said Mark Cotter, Director of Public Works.

He says now is the time to upgrade the cities waste water system.

“We’ve gotten more life out of that plant then it was ever intended to get,” said Cotter.

The current plant has been running on the north side of the city since the early 80s. It’s about ten years past it’s designed life.

“Most plants will last 20 to 25 years. By the time this expansion is done we will have gotten almost 40 years out of it, so it’s time now to rehabilitate the existing plant and then also expand it,” said Cotter.

The wastewater treatment facility will expand from 21 million gallons a day to 30 million to accommodate a growing city. The average customer uses just under 5,000 gallons a month.

“We want to make sure that we take care of our existing customers and prepare for the next set of customers,” said Cotter.

Over one hundred thousand new customers are anticipated by 2036. There’s a lot of work to be done, but Public Works says they are looking forward to the outcome. The wastewater system upgrade will start at the beginning of the new year and the city hopes it will be completed by 2025.

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