BULVERDE — The Coalition for Equitable Water Rates (CEWR), a ratepayers’ group fighting a proposed 71 percent water-rate hike, said in a press release that it presented arguments recently in a formal hearing of its rate case against Canyon Lake Water Service Co. (CLWSC).

During the hearing, held Aug. 22-23 in Austin, both parties provided facts and recommendations to state administrative law judges to determine whether CLWSC should be able to collect $1 million in rate case costs from ratepayers, CEWR said.

CLWSC’s ratepayers are now awaiting a final rate order by the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ). The final order is expected next February, after TCEQ receives a December “proposal for decision” from the administrative law judges presiding over the case, CEWR said.

If, in the final rate order, CLWSC is not awarded at least 51 percent of its requested increase, the utility may not recover its costs of defending the rate increase by directly billing the ratepayers in future water bills, CEWR said.

At the hearing, both TCEQ and CEWR recommended that CLWSC not be allowed to collect any money from the ratepayers to pay its rate case costs.

CEWR said it has, to date, spent approximately $135,000 appealing the proposed rate increase. If the increase is OK’d by the state, a customer using 10,000 gallons of water would see a water bill of $136 per month, according to CEWR.

About CLWSC

Sattler-based CLWSC, the largest water supplier in western Comal County, serves some 36,500 residents on 10,000 service connections in a historically water-short area. It was formed locally in the mid-’90s and has since been investing to expand with new water plants and pipelines to accommodate growth in Bulverde, officials have said.

 In 2005, CLWSC was purchased by SJW Corp., a California corporation. SJWTX Inc., a subsidiary of SJW Corp., is doing business as CLWSC in a service area comprising about 237 square miles.

CLWSC gets about two-thirds of its water supply via purchases of water from Canyon Lake through the Guadalupe-Blanco River Authority. The rest comes from approximately 30 active wells tapping the Trinity Aquifer.

(2) comments

Melissa Krause

If you will go to www.nbutexas.com, you'll find the rates for both residential and commercial customers under Customer Care/Additional Services and Information/Electric, Water and Sewer Rates. You will find that the rate quoted by CEWR is NOT comparable to what NBU charges a small commercial customer outside the city for the same water usage. The cost for 10,000 gallons of water on small commercial outside rates is $25.77 plus the customer charge, which is based on meter size. The most common size meter for our small commercial customers outside the city is 1-inch. Their total charge for 10,000 gallons would be $44.29.

Observer

That average rate is comparable to what NBU charges a small commercial customer outside the city for the same water usage. However, NBU's service area is MUCH smaller. CLWSC is pumping, treating and delivering water to the far reaches of Comal County to meet customer demand.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
PLEASE TURN OFF YOUR CAPS LOCK.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.