Water Rates on the Rise for CVWD Customers

Photo by Mary O’KEEFE CVWD board members take their seats in front of district customers at the Tuesday night meeting.


On Tuesday the Crescenta Valley Water District board of directors voted to approve Resolutions 746 and 745 with a 4-to-1 vote. This means CVWD customers will be seeing a rate hike starting Sept. 1.

According to CVWD, a water bill for a typical resident with a 3/4-inch meter using 17 units of water during a two-month billing period will see an increase of $10.65, from $152.13 to $162.78. A wastewater bill for the same typical residence would increase by $3.03, from $77.57 to $80.60 in a two-month billing period.

The board meeting on Tuesday started with a public comment period that saw both those who supported the rate hike and those who did not.

Resident Marilyn Tyler said she had done her research and, although she understood the reason for the rate hike, she had some suggestions on how the board could save money and therefore avoid a raise in rates. Her suggestions included prioritizing the infrastructure repair and by canceling its AMI [Advanced Metering Infrastructure]. AMI meter technology has been placed in many other water districts including Glendale. The meters have the capability of detecting water leaks long before residents discover them, according to David Gould, CVWD director of engineering.

The topic of AMI will be discussed at a future meeting; however, board president James Bodnar said he would look into her suggestions.

“There will always be reasons to raise rates,” Tyler added.

Others asked for a break of at least a year before raising rates. There were a total of 409 protest letters that CVWD received regarding the rate hikes; this number included the first and second time protests letters were received. CVWD customers received notices in June and in August of the possibility of rates being increased.

Board member Sharon Raghavachary said she did not want to raise rates.

“I don’t like increases either,” she said, adding, “I have been on a very sharp learning curve” regarding the information she became aware of since going onto the board of directors.

Raghavachary is the newest member of the board and she told the residents at the meeting that she had been where they were on several occasions – protesting a rate hike. Then she went on a tour of the water district facilities and learned more about CVWD.

“I know this district is run well,” she said.

Four members voted to raise the rates with Judy Tejeda the only “no” vote.

The rate increase will be used for “continued replacement of the aging infrastructure such as water pipelines, steel reservoir rehabilitation and groundwater rehabilitation with new pumps,” David Gould said in an interview with CVW.

One of the examples of CVWD’s aging infrastructure is the recent water main break on Pennsylvania Avenue.

The estimated costs of replacing the 73-year-old pipe are about $600,000. If the pipe had been replaced on an infrastructure repair schedule rather than waiting for it to first break, the costs would have been about $200,000.