Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District fields public comments, concerns on November boil advisory

The Liberty Lake Sewer and Water District issued a statement regarding the higher water bills residents recently received.

In late November, the city issued a boil advisory after E. coli was found in the water supply. The order remained for a week before crews were able to clear the contaminants.

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Following this, Liberty Lake residents received a water bill which was comparatively higher than their usual ones.

The Sewer and Water District explained that the bill is for the previous quarter, denoting water usage from the last half of August through the first half of November. Additionally, it includes overage for irrigation season, which also increases the bill.

They stress that the higher bill in unrelated to the boil advisory.

According to the Sewer and Water District, other customers asked whether they would be issued a credit for the seven-day boil order.

The District says no – they are funded entirely by ratepayers, and the revenue they receive all goes to operation and maintenance of water utilities. They say that if were to issue credits, they would also have to surcharge for them, just to pay for operations.

The District Board did, however, decide to waive all water overage fees for the current quarter, which is the last half of November to the first half of February. They say that they cannot lower any of the base charges, as it keeps their operations afloat.

They concluded by explaining that the contamination incident cost them a great deal of money, which cause its own increase in rates. However, they have allocated funds in next year’s budget in anticipation of any protections needed for their water system.