The City of Loveland owns and operates its water and stormwater utilities. These utilities are operated much like a business, where residents are billed for service. The City maintains these assets and sets rates based on the needs of the utility. A benefit of having the City control these utilities is that City Council can also keep rates low in difficult economic times to protect the residents. City Council has done this in recent years, where reserves (like your savings account) have been spent so that rates did not have to increase.
Loveland has been able to curb sanitation rate increases through recycling initiatives and competitive bidding with other communities, though these cost control efforts are modest relative to sewer increases.
While your utility bill may come from the City of Loveland, the City does not control sanitary sewer rates. Those rates are set by the Hamilton County Commissioners for the entire Metropolitan Sewer District (MSD). In 1985, the City of Loveland and Hamilton County entered into a contract where the City would continue to own the sewer plant and sewer system, but MSD would operate the plant. In recent years, MSD has been the subject of several lawsuits, one of which places the organization under a Federal Consent Decree to comply with EPA standards. This is when rates began rising at a significant rate annually, often in double-digits.
To try to protect our residents’ pocketbooks, Loveland attempted to terminate its contract with MSD. In order to do so, the City has been in litigation with MSD to regain control of our sewer plant and system. Unfortunately, the City of Loveland did not prevail in its lawsuit, including being denied an appearance at the U.S. Supreme Court, the last step in the appeals process. This means that the City of Loveland has no control over sewer rates, which comprise the vast majority of the charges you see on your bill.
If you would like to voice a complaint about your sewer rates, please call MSD at 513-352-4900.
- 2010 Water Quality Report (1011)
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- 2015 Water and Sewer Rate Survey (517)
- 2015 Water Quality Report (877)
- 2016 Water and Sewer Rate Survey (753)
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- How Your Utility Bills Are Calculated Brandywine Single Family (728)
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