Wichita forecasting water bills over $100 for new treatment plant

Get ready to pay more for your water -- maybe 40 dollars more a month.
Wichita needs a new water treatment plant.

It comes with a big price tag of more than half a billion dollars.
That means a big jump in water bills in the coming years.

The water from Bailey Stevens’ sink comes from Wichita's only water treatment plant.

Stevens says, “I'm willing to pay more if it's something we definitely need, but I'd like to look into it and see what their proposed plans are.”
All the water that you use in your home in Wichita right now is going through the water plant.

The city says it needs to be replaced with a new one that will cost more than half a billion dollars, and of course that will have an impact on your bills.

"So over a period of time they could get up to around 100 a month, so a significant increase,” said Wichita Director of Public Works, Alan King.

The average monthly bill of 65 dollars would increase to more than 100 dollars within a decade.

King says they will apply for a low interest federal loan.

City council just approved that part of the process, the first green light on a new water treatment plant.

“We've been facing some maintenance challenges with, we foresee those challenges increasing and the risk of not being able to produce water reliably concerns us,” said King.

King says fixing the old facility would cost even more, and the risk of failure increases past five years.

"It's the reliability of the water source, we don't want something to go out on the plant and people don't have water for a couple days,” said King.

Stevens said, “With an older house like this, we use a little more water anyway, but not crazy about my bill doubling."

The public works director says they will ask for about an eight percent increase in water bills later this year.

They hope to begin the water treatment project in a little more than a year at 21st and Zoo Boulevard.