York County residents will see rate hike for water, sewer services

York County Water and Sewer customers can expect to pay about $9 more per month-- thanks to a rate hike.
The 16.5% increase per about 4,500 gallons begins January 1. Customers can expect to see that 16.5% increase on their February bills. According to the county, the rate will continue to increase in increments over the next nine years.
"So the average person right now at 4,500 gallons is paying about $54-$54.50," said York County Public Works Director Eric Rekitt.  "It will go to about $63-- which is about a $9 increase."
It's been about 15 years since the county had to hike up water prices-- and over the next nine years, water bills could increase by about $30 total.  That means, in 2026, someone who pays about $54 now might be paying about $84 then.
"Following this rate increase over 2019, in 2020-- there will be an 8.5% increase," said Rekitt.  "Then, it's about a 1% increase until 2026."
That's because York County has an enterprise water and sewer fund that is separate from the county's general fund.
"So it's funded exclusively by the sale of our water and sewer service," said Rekitt.  "York County buys all their water from the city of Rock Hill."
With rising water costs there, increasing growth-- as well as several capital improvement projects in the works-- York County staff members say the rates needed to be reevaluated.
"To get all this done and keep clean drinking water, we determined we should maybe look into our rates," Rekitt said.
York County serves just over 1,400 people--which compares to just 4,500 in 2002.  That's the last time there was a water rate increase.
The capital improvement projects include upgrades to a sewer pump station in the Steele Creek area costing about $8 million, a sewer upgrade in the Lake Wylie community costing about $8.5 million, and an elevated storage tank project in the Fort Mill area-- costing about $4.5 million.