Why new water bills are shocking Tremonton leaders and residents

Jul 19, 2019, 9:38 AM | Updated: 1:22 pm

TREMONTON, Utah — Tremonton resident Brian Tanner was stunned when he opened his water bill at the end of last month.

Instead of seeing the usual $14.10 charge for secondary water usage, Tanner says his bill was a whopping $233. The bill also said he had used 104,500 gallons of water in the previous month.

“I couldn’t believe it,” Tanner said. “I was the highest bill in the neighborhood.”

Tanner said he wasn’t the only one, either. Most of his neighbors also saw a sharp increase in their water rates last month.

This pricey change is a result of new water rates approved by the Tremonton City Council in March.

Previous to the decision, residents were charged a flat rate of $14.10 a month for secondary water use, which comes from canals and is generally used to water lawns.

The city’s new pricing system now includes a $10 base rate, plus anywhere from $1.50 to $3.50 per thousand gallons, depending on how much water is used. The more water is consumed, the more expensive the rate becomes.

Tanner is frustrated because his neighborhood is one of the first areas to have meters installed, so they are paying the higher rate. Meanwhile, other residents without meters are still paying about $14 a month.

The city says bills will be adjusted for residents’ first month on the new system. They say they are also working to get new meters in place as soon as possible.

Why use a tiered system?

Water conservation is the reason Tremonton city manager Shawn Warnke says they implemented the new tiered system and made the change. The city obtains secondary water through its shares with the Bear River Canal Company.

A few months ago, the city installed meters on a few properties just to see how much water was being used.

“We were really surprised, frankly, at how much water people were using when the water was unmetered. More or less, people weren’t being accountable for what was actually used,” Warnke said.

In 2016, the state legislature passed a law that says culinary water must be on an increasing rate system. In 2018, a bill was presented that would place the same restrictions on secondary water. While this bill was not passed, it inspired Tremonton city leaders to take action to conserve water by instituting an increasing rate system.

Warnke says they hear citizens’ concerns and are planning on holding another open house to address questions and complaints.

“We are trying to get the word out,” Warnke said. “We’re trying to educate and give the residents the ability to control what they want to spend on water.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

All News

NEWPORT NEWS, VA - JANUARY 07: Tall pine trees outside Richneck Elementary School on January 7, 202...
Brian Todd, Hannah Sarisohn, Nicole Grether and Artemis Moshtaghian, CNN

District reassigns principal of Virginia school where boy, 6, allegedly shot teacher, spokesperson says

The principal of Richneck Elementary School in Virginia has been reassigned within Newport News Public Schools.
7 hours ago
A cold snap brings sub-freezing temps to northern Utah. (KSL-TV)...
Randall Jepson

Frigid temperatures delaying some school start times

A frigid cold snap is causing in some schools in northern Utah to delay their start times. Utah State will also have a delayed start.
7 hours ago
Authorities in Grants Pass, Oregon are advising women to be on the lookout for a fugitive accused o...
Andy Rose and Nouran Salahieh, CNN

Man suspected of kidnapping and beating a woman in Oregon may be using dating apps to evade police

Originally Published: 29 JAN 23 12:31 ET Updated: 29 JAN 23 21:20 ET     (CNN) — Authorities in southwestern Oregon are warning that a man suspected of kidnapping a woman and beating her unconscious may now be using dating apps to evade capture or find potential new victims, according to police. The suspect, 36-year-old Benjamin Obadiah […]
7 hours ago
utah snow days...
Devin Oldroyd

Weather causing delayed starts for several schools across Utah

Due to weather, many schools across the state are on two-hour delayed starts Monday, Jan. 30.
1 day ago
Suspected arsonist appears on surveillance footage lighting Molotov cocktail in front of Temple Ner...
Celina Tebor, Isa Kaufman-Geballe and Zoe Sottile, CNN

Man throws Molotov cocktail at New Jersey synagogue in arson attempt, police say

A man threw a Molotov cocktail at a New Jersey synagogue in an arson attempt on Sunday morning, police and the synagogue said.
1 day ago
donald trump...
Kate Sullivan, Gabby Orr and Kristen Holmes, CNN

Trump says he’s ‘more angry’ and ‘more committed’ to White House bid as he breaks his campaign trail hiatus

Former President Donald Trump said he's "more committed" to winning back the White House as he hit the campaign trail after announcing a third presidential bid.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Why new water bills are shocking Tremonton leaders and residents