Last fall, the Bismarck City Commission approved a rate structure that priced water at higher rates the more a user used. From the Bismarck Tribune article linked here, this is how it works:
A single-family household that uses 24 units of water per month, for example, would pay $1.42 per unit for the first 4 units, $2.87 per unit for the next 4 units, $5.29 per unit for the next 10 units and $6.68 per unit for the last 6 units, for a total monthly bill of $110.14.— Cheryl McCormack, Bismarck Tribune
The rate structure was designed around two principles. First, the City had a revenue problem in that it wasn’t equal to what the service was costing. Second, the City had supply challenges — especially in summer when lawn watering dramatically increased demands on the system. Thus, the rate structure was designed to price lawn watering as a luxury use.
Here in Minot, it’s a topic worth paying attention to. This is a story I’ll have more on in the future, but to start with, Minot does things differently. Lawn watering prices — if a customer installs a separate meter — is subject to a lower rate than standard water because that water doesn’t hit the sanitary sewer system. Treating water on the back end is also contributes costs to our operation.