American-Tribune (copy)

The first rate increase since February 2016 was part of the recent water bills sent out for December usage for Rural Water District #5 customers.

The increase caught some customers by surprise. Some customers even contacted the Wagoner County American-Tribune and the RWD5 office about the cost going up anywhere from 24 to 40 percent on their bills.

The new rates were advertised inside late winter bills twice. The RWD5 website also announced the change as did flyers at the office and emails.

“The new rate is tiered,” said office manager Denette Hughes.

Here is a simple breakdown of the new rate: There is a $27 minimum charge and different costs per 1,000 gallons used in a month.

For example, 1-to-1,000 gallons are billed up to $7.50 if 1,000 gallons are reached. If the usage is 1,000-to-2,000 then it is billed at $7.75 per 1,000.

If you use 2,000-3,000, the rate is $8 while 3,000-4,000 is $8.25, 4,000-5,000 is billed at $8.50 and over 5,000 is $8.75.

Hughes added that the cost to treat the water and other factors prompted the increase.

“We sent emails out to customers, a letter went out on Nov. 30 and Dec. 30, on our website and posted in the office the second week of December,” Hughes said about getting the word out.

There had been a 4 percent increase in April 2019, but this one was higher due to higher expenses connected to the water delivery.

“We worked hard to keep water bills low,” Hughes added.

For questions about the new rates or your bill, contact the office at 918-486-5458.