New York City’s residential building owners pay a disproportionate share of the City’s water and sewer infrastructure.
Although most believe that their water and sewer costs are based on water consumption, by 2009 only 46% of the average water and sewer bill will reflect actual usage, while 45% will go towards the cost of infrastructure maintenance and construction. In 2 years, infrastructure costs will exceed the operating costs of the system itself and will continue to grow through 2020. As a result, if water usage declines, the cost to the users (or rate payers) actually will rise to keep pace with the capital infrastructure costs.
Even worse, building owners in some neighborhoods pay far more for water and sewer. While the average apartment in Southern Manhattan (below E.96th St. and below W.110th St.) pays 8 percent less per housing unit than the Citywide average for similar buildings, Northern Manhattan buildings pay 11 percent more than the Citywide average per unit. Bronx buildings, with median household incomes of $25,000, pay 8 percent more than the Citywide average.
Since 2007, we have been writing clear, straightforward briefings on the issue and keeping track of the latest developments…you can read them below.