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Laurel, Md. – May 9, 2024 – WSSC Water’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2025 budget was unanimously approved today by the Montgomery and Prince George’s County Councils at their annual bi-county meeting. The $1.8 billion budget for all operating and capital funds is $196.8 million more than the FY 2024 budget. Major cost drivers include chemicals (4 percent) cost share for DC Water’s Blue Plains advanced wastewater treatment facility (20 percent), debt service (10 percent), paying cash (PAYGO) for capital projects (15 percent), investments in WSSC Water’s workforce (12 percent) and construction (4%). Debt service and PAYGO support the capital program. On top of these cost drivers, water consumption is expected to decline by one percent this year. 

As of May 8, 2024, 74,352 accounts are past due, totaling almost $47 million, the vast majority of which are residential customers. The budget includes a 121 percent increase in financial assistance to assist income-constrained customers. WSSC Water added $4.2 million over the FY 2024 budget to help protect vulnerable customers, bringing the total to more than $7.7 million for FY 2025. 

We carefully built a budget that supports our focus on affordability, equity and environmental justice,” said WSSC Water Commission Chair Regina Speed-Bost. “I appreciate the diligent work of the two county councils collaborating with WSSC Water to create a budget that will allow us to continue to deliver essential services to our customers and ensure compliance with the Safe Drinking Water and Clean Water Acts.”  

The $1.8 billion budget also funds a $791.3 million capital program, which creates jobs in both counties. For every $1 million invested in water, 15 - 18 jobs are created. This job creation is on par with investment in the military, clean energy, transportation and health care. 

“This budget funds the operation and maintenance of $9 billion in infrastructure assets necessary to deliver vital services to our customers,” said WSSC Water General Manager and CEO Kishia L. Powell. “Most importantly, the budget funds investments in the first phase of a comprehensive compensation improvement plan for our employees - Team H2O. Investing in our workforce is just as critical as investing in our infrastructure. And investing in WSSC Water projects throughout both counties not only creates or sustains jobs, but those jobs support the economic output of both counties, protect public health and safeguard our environment.”  

See budget highlights 

New Rates 

The budget is based on an 8.5 percent average revenue enhancement. A typical customer with a family of three using 48 gallons of water per person daily would see a quarterly increase of $25.49 in their bill, which includes an increase in fixed fees. Despite this increase, WSSC Water rates remain competitive and continue to compare favorably to many other comparable regional water and sewer utilities. The average residential bill is approximately 1.0 percent of the median household income. 

WSSC Water’s fixed charges to maintain infrastructure are increasing based on a customer’s water meter size, but remain below regional peers and the industry average. With the FY 2025 budget, fixed fees make up 19.5 percent of a typical bill - below DC Water (27.8 percent), Fairfax (27.5 percent) and Baltimore (38.0 percent). The industry average is 20 - 23 percent.  

“We have meticulously analyzed every number in this proposed budget to contain costs and maximize existing rate revenues to minimize customer impact,” added Powell. 

 

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Residential Quarterly Water/Sewer Bill Comparison (145 gallons per day) 

Last fall, WSSC Water announced the launch of PromisePay. This new financial assistance program allows residential and commercial customers with past-due bills to establish affordable, flexible and interest-free payment plans. Customers can easily sign up for a payment plan. Both property owners and tenants are eligible to use the bilingual PromisePay Portal. Additional information on WSSC Water’s portfolio of customer assistance programs is available at wsscwater.com/assistance.  

The two county councils held their annual bi-county meeting to approve WSSC Water’s budget and the budgets for the bi-county portion of the Maryland-National Capital Park and Planning Commission, Central Administrative Services and the Washington Suburban Transit Commission. The budget conforms with limits both Montgomery and Prince George’s County Councils set when they approved WSSC Water’s Spending Affordability Guidelines. The FY 2025 budget and new rates begin on July 1, 2024. View the budget document at wsscwater.com/fin.  



WSSC Water is the proud provider of safe, seamless and satisfying water services, making the essential possible every day for our neighbors in Montgomery and Prince George’s counties. We work to deliver our best because it’s what our customers expect and deserve.