Press Editorial

April 3, 2012

Revised water rates reject values

The Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District’s new rate structure has taken a giant step backward.

Previously, the rates had been set up so that those who use the most water pay a higher rate. Now the tiers in the rate structure have been flattened — meaning a roughly 6 percent cut in water bills to those who use the most.

Swimming pool or hot tub? Farm animals to feed? No problem, no surcharge for extra water. Same rate for everybody — in fact, please use more!

Read more

Some Issaquah customers could pay more for water, sewer

March 27, 2012

Overhauling the rate structure for the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District could help stabilize the revenues from year to year at the expense of lowering the financial incentive for water conservation.

The revised rate structure could mean a 17.1 percent hike for sewer service and 8.6 percent increase in the cost of water for the average single-family home. The increased rates could help make up a more than $2.3 million deficit in the district budget.

The district is investing in updated pipes, pumps and other infrastructure to accommodate growth, but revenue is falling due to lower water consumption by customers.

The average home in the district uses about 1,400 cubic feet of water in a two-month period and could pay a water bill of $68.98 under the overhauled rate structure — up from $63.50 under current rates. The rise in sewer could be more drastic, from $42.96 every two months for the average homeowner to $50.34 for the same period.

Read more

City, Cascade Water Alliance mail toilet leak detection kits

March 13, 2012

National Fix A Leak Week runs until March 18 and to mark the occasion the Cascade Water Alliance and Issaquah municipal government mailed toilet leak detection kits to homes in Issaquah and elsewhere.

The average home can waste more than 10,000 gallons of water each year due to running toilets, dripping faucets and other household leaks. The results: wasted water and pricier water bills.

“According to the U.S. EPA, household leaks from toilets, faucets and showerheads waste 1 trillion gallons of water each year nationwide,” said Issaquah Councilman Fred Butler, a Cascade Water Alliance Board member. “This drives up utility operating costs and places unnecessary strain on water and wastewater infrastructure. Finding and fixing leaking toilets is a great way to conserve our valuable water resources.”

Mailers should start to reach almost 100,000 homes throughout the Eastside and South King County in the days ahead. The kits include dye strips and simple instructions to check toilets for leaks.

The regional alliance includes the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, Issaquah and Bellevue, plus other Eastside and South King County cities and water districts.

Stop toilet leaks — and conserve water — during Fix a Leak Week

March 8, 2012

NEW — 6 p.m. March 8, 2012

National Fix A Leak Week starts Monday and to mark the occasion, Cascade Water Alliance and Issaquah municipal government mailed toilet leak detection kits to homes in Issaquah and elsewhere.

The average home can waste more than 10,000 gallons of water each year due to running toilets, dripping faucets and other household leaks. The results: wasted water and pricier water bills.

“According to the U.S. EPA, household leaks from toilets, faucets and showerheads waste 1 trillion gallons of water each year nationwide,” said Issaquah Councilman Fred Butler, a Cascade Water Alliance Board member. “This drives up utility operating costs and places unnecessary strain on water and wastewater infrastructure. Finding and fixing leaking toilets is a great way to conserve our valuable water resources.”

Read more

Water conservation is priority at zHome, WaterSense honoree

March 6, 2012

The carbon-neutral zHome townhouses in the Issaquah Highlands receive most attention for steps to reduce energy use.

Read more

Councilman Fred Butler joins Cascade Water Alliance board

March 6, 2012

Fred Butler

Cascade Water Alliance leaders chose longtime Issaquah Councilman Fred Butler as a board member on the regional group Feb. 22.

The organization also elected Redmond Mayor John Marchione as chairman, Covington Water District Commissioner David Knight as vice chairman and Tukwila Mayor Jim Haggerton as secretary-treasurer.

Issaquah Councilwoman Stacy Goodman serves as the city’s alternate representative to the board.

The regional Cascade Water Alliance includes the Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District, Issaquah and Bellevue, plus other Eastside and South King County cities and water districts. The agency serves about 400,000 residents and 22,000 businesses.

The members own, operate and maintain individual water distribution systems. The alliance operates the Bellevue-Issaquah Pipeline, a 24-inch transmission line in operation since 2006.

Bellevue utility tax hits some Issaquah residents

February 7, 2012

Bellevue officials decided Jan. 23 to impose a utility tax on water customers in Greenwood Point and South Cove — Issaquah neighborhoods served by the Bellevue municipal water system.

Bellevue City Council members approved extending a utility occupation tax to the water utility’s revenue, including for customers beyond Bellevue. Starting March 1, customers should start to see a 10.4 percent increase on water bills. The change does not affect customers in Bellevue.

Officials intend to use the additional dollars for fire hydrants, oversized pipes and reservoir storage.

The decision followed a 2008 state Supreme Court ruling related to how cities pay for municipal fire hydrants. The ruling in Lane v. Seattle identified hydrants as a general government service and not a utility.

Read more

Bellevue imposes utility tax on some Issaquah water customers

January 30, 2012

NEW — 6 a.m. Jan. 30, 2012

Bellevue officials decided Jan. 23 to impose a utility tax on water customers in Greenwood Point and South Cove — Issaquah neighborhoods served by the Bellevue municipal water system.

Bellevue City Council members approved extending a utility occupation tax to the water utility’s revenue, including for customers beyond Bellevue. Starting March 1, customers should start to see a 10.4 percent on water bills. The change does not affect customers in Bellevue.

Officials intend to use the additional dollars for fire hydrants, oversized pipes and reservoir storage.

The decision followed a 2008 state Supreme Court ruling related to how cities pay for municipal fire hydrants. The ruling in Lane v. Seattle identified hydrants as a general government service and not a utility.

Read more

Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District service is restored

January 20, 2012

NEW — 8:35 a.m. Jan. 20, 2012

Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District officials said power has been restored and district facilities returned to normal functions.

The request for customers to conserve water is no longer in effect. Customers can use water and sewer facilities as normal.

The district encompasses North Issaquah neighborhoods, including Providence Point, and Klahanie in unincorporated King County. Overall, the district serves 16,300 water customers and 10,100 sewer customers.

Officials said some areas in the district service area remain without power. Customers without power and on a sewer grinder pump system should continue to minimize water and toilet use until the power is restored.

The winter storm interrupted operation to 11 district water facilities and 15 sewer lift stations. The district kept facilities operating through the use of backup generators, but the loss of power and communication posed challenges for the continuity of operations.

Eastside Fire & Rescue opens downtown Issaquah shelter

January 19, 2012

NEW — 7:45 p.m. Jan. 19, 2012

Eastside Fire & Rescue opened a warming shelter in downtown Issaquah on Thursday evening, as cold temperatures blasted the city.

Many residents spent the night after a rare ice storm in cold and darkness, as crews raced to restore power to the city. However, the push to restore power to Issaquah and other Western Washington communities could last several days.

EFR opened Station 71, 190 E. Sunset Way, near Issaquah City Hall as a warming shelter.

Meanwhile, Sammamish Plateau Water and Sewer District officials offered another emergency number for customers. The district is experiencing difficulties due to the widespread power outage. Customers should call 647-1627 to report water or sewer emergencies.

« Previous PageNext Page »