MSD sewer rates are a challenge to understand and are a fairly antiquated system of charging for sewage treatment.
There are many disparities. A couple living in a single family home pays much more than if the same couple moved to an apartment and still used the same amount of water. There is no recognition of income in the rate system and this is creating a burden, not only for low income but middle class residents as well. High minimum charges based on water meter sizes, even if a property is empty, are an issue for many residents. The minimum charge includes up to 9 cubic feet of water per quarter, even if you use much less. Landlords who pass the bill directly on to residents sometimes use their own rate structures for billing tenants. The list goes on and on.
You can also learn more about MSD rates from their most recent MSDGC2014RateStudy-DraftReport_14NOV2014
The Hamilton County Commissioners established a Rate Affordability Task Force and appointed members in March. However Cincinnati has not yet appointed anyone to represent the city or assigned staff to work on the rate structure.
In 2011, Sierra Club, Faith and Community Alliance and Legal Aid offer recommendations to the Commissioners for a low income rate. You can read that letter here.
We need Fair and Affordable Rates to fix our aging infrastructure, clean up our water and create good jobs in our community!
You can learn more about past MSD rate studies here.