Flush frugally in Bethel

Published Sep 11, 2013 at 6:33 am (Updated Sep 11, 2013 at 10:31 am)

Soon, flushing, bathing, washing clothes or simply drinking a glass of water will cost the residents of Bethel Park a pot full of money.

Council members voted to increase sewer rates beginning in November. That means anyone wishing to take a long, hot shower, should do so after the Halloweeners have gathered their candy and gone home on Oct. 31. If the weather is nice, wash the car, wash the cat and wash the bad taste out of your mouth, but do so before November or prepare to pay dearly.

Now, residents pay $10 a month for a service charge, plus an additional $6.34 for every 1,000 gallons of water that comes in the residence. With the new rates, within a year residents will pay a $13 service charge and a fee of $7.60 per 1,000 gallon of water.

The rate change is because of a reduction in water usage by residents. Say that again. Because of a reduction in water usage by residents.

Seems not enough people are flushing to pay for a $26 million bond issue this year for upgrades, among other improvements, at the sewage treatment plant shared with South Park Township.

To add insult to injury, township officials said when the increase is fully implemented, the sewage bill will be about 1 percent of the average homeowner’s income. Add that 1 percent to the cost of the water, and add in the price of food and utilities and gasoline and county, municipal and school taxes, and the remaining 99 percent is gone faster than it can be flushed down the toilet.

Soon, it will be cheaper to buy bottled water and haul it home. Or how about a rain barrel or melted snow?

Once, again, everything is going up but salaries.

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