Greensboro City Council approves water rate increase

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GREENSBORO, N.C.-- Greensboro City Council members approved a 3.5% water rate increase Wednesday to help fund a $97 million water and sewer project which includes new water pipes.

Water resources director Steven Drew said there are about 3,000 miles of water pipes that run underneath Greensboro's streets. Hundreds of them need to be replaced due to old age and deterioration.

The oldest pipes in Greensboro were installed in the mid-1920s

Drew said older pipes could cause sink holes and low water pressure which could be a problem for not only residents, but firefighters as well.

"The inside diameter of a water line actually get smaller as time goes by, and as that line gets smaller it creates a restriction," Drew said.

The average water bill in Greensboro is around $35.00.  With the 3.5 % rate increase, residents will see about $1.30 increase their bills for 2014.

Projected water rate increases for 2016-2017 and 2019 are over 6%.

Greensboro has the third cheapest average water rate in the Piedmont following Winston-Salem and Burlington.