Water Fees Ripple Through Chicago, Suburbs

Water Fees Ripple Through Chicago, Suburbs
Photo by Matt Parker
Water Fees Ripple Through Chicago, Suburbs
Photo by Matt Parker

Water Fees Ripple Through Chicago, Suburbs

It'll soon cost more to drink, wash, and even flush in many Chicago suburbs.

December wasn't just the month of holiday cheer - it was the month for water fee hikes. Suburb after suburb voted to tack more onto residential water bills. Local governments say they're forced to follow Chicago's lead. That's because they buy water from Chicago, and the city's raising it's prices fifteen percent next year.

Chicago Water Department spokesman Tom LaPorte justifies the increase.

LAPORTE: There's been a lot of development and a lot of it took place in the early part of the last century. So that infrastructure, all those pipes, 4300 miles of pipes, are now reaching the end of their life expectancy of about one hundred years.

Homeowners and landlards will have to brace for more water price hikes after 2008; the city of Chicago will increase prices another fifteen percent in 2009, and in 2010, the city will charge an additional fourteen percent for its water.

I'm Shawn Allee, Chicago Public Radio.