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As the Public Service Commission reviews Madison Water Utility’s proposed 30.4 percent revenue increase, the utility is making plans to apply for a smaller rate increase sometime next year, given the amount of time it can take to process an application.

Madison Water Utility residential customers could see their bills increase by about $7 a month on average if the current rate application is approved. The utility is also projecting increased revenue needs of 4 percent each year for 2020, 2021, and 2022.

The main driver for increasing rates is aging water mains. Madison has about 900 miles of water main buried under its streets, and Madison Water Utility estimates 300 miles of that need to be replaced at a cost of about $1.5 million a mile. Much of those mains were installed in the post-WWII era when the city was growing rapidly. Now those water mains are wearing out.

Madison Water Utility has replaced more 100 miles of deteriorating water main since 2005. Most recently, the utility spent $3.6 million replacing water mains under Monroe Street.


Water Utility