Maumee water bills expected to go up 40% next month
MAUMEE, Ohio (WTVG) - Maumee residents will see a significant bump in their water bills starting next month as the city begins the long process of correcting an issue with the city’s sewer system that dumped millions of gallons of sewage into the Maumee River over multiple decades.
City leaders say a 40% increase is scheduled to go into effect in August and will increase by 60% over the next five years. The increase will pay for $100 million in improvements to the city’s sewage system over the next 30 years.
These changes are part of a plan worked out between the city and the EPA to address a big problem of excessive sewage dumping into the Maumee River, an issue that reportedly goes back to the 1990s.
According to city leaders Mayor Rich Carr and Maumee Administrator Patrick Burtch, a worker came to administrators eight months ago to reveal the issue.
Carr says, “The employee who reported it said that he had been told not to discuss it. The city immediately self-reported it, I didn’t take 10 seconds. I told the law director you report it immediately and we did.”
In 1984, Maumee and the EPA agreed to allow 25 million gallons of sewage to overflow into the river per year. If the city exceeded that overflow after rains, it needed to notify the EPA. But according to the city, no one in key positions did that.
So now the EPA will apply penalties to the overall estimated cost to fix the problem, as long as an action plan is put together over the next three years.
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