Rate Increase

Water and Sewer Rates Frequently Asked Questions

1. Why are rates going up?
The City of Shreveport has a very old sewer system and needs to raise more than $350 million in order to bring it up to standards that comply with the Federal Clean Water Act. Raising rates is the most secure way to guarantee the City complies with federal guidelines and avoids potentially heavy fines from the Department of Justice.

2. Why are rates increasing over several years instead of all at once?
The improvements the City must make to its infrastructure are based upon the schedule that was negotiated with the Department of Justice and EPA. This schedule will require more spending over the next few years and then will decrease as the improvements are made.

3. Why are rates increasing now?
The City has been in negotiations for several years with the Department of Justice over the best way to bring Shreveport’s sewer system into compliance. Both parties agree that now is the right time to begin.

4. How will the additional revenue be used?
The money will be used pay for new pipes, equipment, repairs, maintenance and personnel needed to maintain our system into the future.

5. How do these rates compare to other cities?
Below is a chart that shows a typical water and sewer bill from various cities in the region.

Baton Rouge and New Orleans will see even higher bills as new rate increases have been approved for years into the future. Other municipalities facing similar sewer issues are reviewing their rates and are expected to increase them to accommodate needed repairs to their systems.

6. Is there any assistance for low-income customers?
Yes. The City established the Shreveport Water Assistance Program in 2001. It’s designed to assist eligible households with water and sewer bills twice per year (every 6 months). In addition to meeting eligibility requirements, applicants must also not have any outstanding returned payments or unpaid fees. For more information, call (318) 673-5510.

7. How many residential customers does Shreveport have?
The City has approximately 60,000 residential customers.

8. How does the rate increase impact commercial customers?
The impact on businesses will vary depending upon water usage and sewer discharge. The rates for businesses are the same as the rates for residential customers. With some businesses that use large amounts of water, the City can help determine whether there might be ways to mitigate some costs.

9. How large is Shreveport’s water and sewer system?
The City has about 1,000 miles of water mains and approximately 1,100 miles of sewer mains and force mains and nearly 120 lift stations.

10. Do other cities face similar challenges meeting federal guidelines?
Yes, many cities face similar issues. For example, Baton Rouge is facing about $1.5 billion in needed repairs. New Orleans is looking at about $600 million to bring its system into compliance with the Clean Water Act.