Council: Sewer rate increase will pay for storage tanks, keep wa - Toledo News Now, News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

Council: Sewer rate increase will pay for storage tanks, keep water clean

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) -

You could soon pay more for the same sewer services from the City of Toledo.

Toledo City Council members met to discuss the proposed rate increase on Wednesday.

If the matter before council is approved, rates would increase by more than 7 percent every year until 2020.

Council members say the hike might not be what residents want to see on their bills, but they say it's something that will help keep water clean and safe to drink. Money from your sewer bill will help pay for new underground storage facilities.

"Sewers cannot handle all of the storm water at one time without allowing sewage to get in at the same time, so this will allow those to be stored underground," said Toledo City Councilman Rob Ludeman. "It's going to make sure that our drinking water, which is one of our most important things, is taken care of for the rest of our lifetimes."

Currently during a heavy rain, the city's waste water treatment plant can not treat combined sewage and storm water fast enough to keep up. That forces the city to dump raw sewage into area waterways. The construction of these giant tanks will allow the city to store that sewage and storm water until demand on the plant has decreased. The water will then be pumped to the plant and treated.

Experts say raw sewage dumped into waterways makes its way into Lake Erie and contributes to the toxic algae bloom which made Toledo's water undrinkable for a weekend.

Council members say this project was already in the works before the water crisis two weeks ago. Council plans to vote on the rate increase at a meeting next week.

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