INCREASES - July 1, 2024

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Purpose of This Effort
As part of the Village's commitment to community improvements, capital infrastructure, and maintaining safe and reliable utility services, the Village President and Board of Trustees have approved adjustments to water and sewer utility rates, effective July 1, 2024. These adjustments are necessary due to two primary factors: aging infrastructure and the Lead Service Replacement Mandate.
How Does Water and Sewer Service Work?
The Village purchases water from the Broadview Westchester Joint Water Authority (BWJWA), who purchase water from the City of Chicago. The water purchased from the BWJWA is just for obtaining water for the Village. Once purchased, the Village is responsible for all costs to operate, maintain, repair, and, if needed, replace the water system infrastructure throughout the Village.
Furthermore, sanitary sewer treatment and stormwater runoff is handled by the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District of Greater Chicago (MWRD). While MWRD treats sewage and manages stormwater runoff downstream when it discharges into waterways, the Village, like the water system, is also responsible for all costs related to the sanitary and storm sewer systems throughout the Village.
Why is a Rate Increase Needed?
Utility Fund revenues can only be used to fund the operations, maintenance, and improvements of the Village’s Utility System. Our community is facing a pressing challenge of aging underground infrastructure, with a significant portion of our water mains (49%), storm sewers (27%), and sanitary sewers (60%) dating back to the 1920s-1930s. This century-old infrastructure, over 75 miles of main in total, requires urgent attention and an ongoing improvement plan to ensure the continued delivery of safe and reliable water and sewer services to our residents. Funds received from increased utility rates support the capital improvements needed to bring this underground infrastructure up to date, reducing the frequency of service interruptions due to main breaks and emergency repairs. This improvement plan is anticipated to be a 20-year effort, and is estimated to cost approximately $120 million.
What About Lead Water Services?
The Lead Service Replacement Act, mandated by the federal government, requires the identification and replacement of all lead service lines in our water system. This unfunded mandate reinforces the critical need for proactive investments in our infrastructure to uphold public health standards and meet regulatory obligations. Currently, there are approximately 1,000 “resident-side” (from the outside valve to the water meter) lead water services, and approximately 3,600 “Village-side” (from the water main to the outside valve) lead water services throughout Westchester. Under this mandate, the Village must remove all lead services from the water system by 2044.
While municipalities have the option to devise a funding strategy that could entail individual residents bearing the burden of lead service line replacements, which can cost upwards of $15,000 per service line, the Village has instead chosen to incorporate and fund lead water service line replacements as part of these adjusted utility rates. These utility rate adjustments enable the Village to absorb these costs as part of the overall underground infrastructure program, without separate additional cost to Village residents. This approach ensures that lead service line replacements are seamlessly integrated with the Village's community-wide infrastructure projects, at more competitive rates due to utilizing economies of scale.
Utility Bill Impact
The water usage rate will be $16.70 per 1,000 gallons used, and the sewer usage rate will be $3.50 per 1,000 gallons used, which will take effect on July 1, 2024. These rates will be seen on the September utility bills, and water and sewer charges are billed in arrears. It is important to note that individual usage is notated on utility bills as units, where each unit equals 1,000 gallons. For example, if your utility bill says 5 units of water usage, that equates to 5,000 gallons used.
This initial rate adjustment aims to prevent a deficit in the Village's Utility Fund while a comprehensive professional study is conducted by a third-party consultant to determine the ongoing rate needed to continue funding underground capital infrastructure improvement in the future .
In addition, historically, the Village has received higher costs to purchase water than what was charged to users. For example, in 2023, the BWJWA received a 22.55% water rate increase to the cost of water purchased from the City of Chicago, which was passed on to the Village. In the same year, Village water rates increased 3%. This has resulted in costs outpacing revenues in the Villages Utility Fund.
Estimates used in Village Staff analysis during the multiple meetings the Village Board reviewed and discussed recommendations for rate adjustments follow the EPA average individual consumption rate of 82 gallons per day. However, many Westchester residents use substantially less than 82 gallons per individual per day. As part of the communications and information about the rate adjustments, a utility bill calculator tool is available below. This calculator, along with additional information about the rate change, is available on the Village website so residents can enter their most recent usage from the May utility bills to see an estimate of their September utility bill.
Fortunately, the Village is transitioning to a new rubbish service hauler, SBC Waste Solutions, on July 1, which will be seen on the upcoming July utility bills. This transition will save residents approximately 23.6% on the rubbish charge, partially offsetting the utility usage rate increases.
Alternative Funding to Address Capital Improvement
Village staff and consultants are extremely diligent in pursuing grants for projects to reduce the financial burden on Westchester residents and businesses. Due to this extreme effort, for the current fiscal year, the Village is receiving $4.3 million in capital project grant funding awards.
Anytime a grant is available that the Village is even remotely eligible for, the Village applies for that grant. It is important to note that several grant opportunities require projects to be “shovel ready”, meaning if the grant is awarded, the project is already designed, engineered, and ready to be sent out to bid. As such, the Village tries to stay one construction season ahead of anticipated future projects so if a grant opportunity arises, the Village is more likely to obtain that grant.
Unfortunately, a lot of the current grant and loan (with forgiveness) programs available for underground infrastructure have median household income (MHI) limits. Recently per the IEPA, the MHI for our area is $72,563, and Westchester’s MHI is $94,151. As such, the Village is frequently denied grant opportunities due to Westchester’s MHI exceeding grant eligibility requirements.
Overall Objective
The fundamental objective of the Village remains to deliver safe and dependable services to our residents. Remember, from the day-to-day motions of turning on a faucet or flushing a toilet, to the sudden emergencies that require firefighting efforts, our goal is to ensure that these essential services are always readily available, without compromise.
Your understanding and support are crucial as we work towards building a safer and more resilient community for generations to come.
For more information about the utility rate adjustments and infrastructure improvement projects, please feel free to contact the Village Administration at (708) 345-0020.
Estimated Utility Bill Calculator
To see an estimate of what your next utility bill total will be (which you'll receive in September 2024), use the calculator tool below and input the usage number from your last utility bill (circled in red in the below photo), check the "Senior" box if 65 years of age or older, and then hit "Submit."

Sample Water Bill