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What’s up with my water bill? (Update)

December 19, 2023

Since 2022, MetroConnects service area has grown to include Marietta, Berea, Parker, Gantt, Wade Hampton, Taylors and Travelers Rest.

MetroConnects serves more than 100,000 customers in unincorporated areas of Greenville County, as well as the City of Travelers Rest. But you may be wondering more about who we are, and why there are charges from us on your water bill.

Who We Are

Metro was established in 1969 by the South Carolina General Assembly to provide sewer collection services in unincorporated areas of Greenville County. Metro is governed by a seven-member Board of Commissioners who are recommended by Greenville County Council and appointed by South Carolina’s Governor for four-year terms. Our mission is to provide all of our customers around-the-clock, safe, and reliable wastewater collection. In the coming months and years, you will see Metro crews hard at work performing proactive maintenance and rehabilitation of our sewer lines to protect public health and keep our community’s environment clean.

January Rate Changes

When you receive your January water bill, you might notice a change in your wastewater rates. MetroConnects’ rates were reviewed by Raftelis, a financial consultant which provides expertise in revenue stability through rate setting for water and wastewater utilities across the United States. Their recommendations were presented to the MetroConnects’ Board of Commissioners in August 2023. While the base charge of $11.72 will remain unchanged, the volume charge will increase by 20 cents to $1.85 per 1,000 gallons.

The average residential customer uses about 4,000 gallons of water per month. This resident will see an increase of 80 cents per month beginning this month. The average residential customer will pay about $19.12 a month in MetroConnects charges. *Note: MetroConnects’ rates do not reflect wastewater treatment, which is provided by Renewable Water Resources (ReWa).

These necessary improvements ensure protection to public health, the environment, and our water. See “January 2024 Rate Change” for more information about MetroConnects rates and how you can save money on your water bill.

Why Three Charges?

In the past, when you opened your water bill, you likely would have seen charges from two entities: Your water service provider and Renewable Water Resources (ReWa). Your water service provider maintains your drinking water and the pipes that bring it to you. ReWa is responsible for cleaning the wastewater or “gray water” that is flushed down your toilet, or goes out through your drains from your shower, sink, and washing machine, at their wastewater treatment facility or water resource recovery facility (WRRF).

Now that Metro handles your wastewater collection, you will also see the charge from us on your water bill (see “Monthly Billing” above). This pays for the maintenance, rehabilitation, and operation of the pipes that carry gray water from your house to the wastewater treatment plant or WRRF. If you are interested in learning more about what service lines Metro maintains, see “Understanding Your Lateral: Why it Matters to You.” You can also find information on our website about customer programs that could help you save money on your water bill.

Investing in Your Future

Metro is invested in your future. We concentrate on preventative maintenance today, to save you expenses tomorrow. We actively seek federal and local grants to contribute to much-needed infrastructure improvement projects to help save you costs on the front end.

Currently, Metro is conducting major capital improvement projects in the historic Wade Hampton and Gantt Districts, making use of two $500,000 Rural Infrastructure Authority Grants we pursued and were awarded. The Greenville County Council awarded MetroConnects $3 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds to be used to rehabilitate sewers in Mills Mill and Dunean Mill Villages, and we were awarded $20 million more in South Carolina Infrastructure Improvement Program grants in 2023. Keep an eye on Metro’s blog for more on these projects and join our newsletter to stay up to date!

If you find that your water bill is an undue financial burden, remember, there are programs available to help. Financial assistance is available through Sunbelt Human Advancement Resources at (864) 269-0700 or through the Salvation Army Help to Community Program at (864) 235-4803.

Serving the Community, Serving You

Most importantly, Metro’s priority is serving you. One major benefit of having Metro as your wastewater collection service is that we will take care of any maintenance issues that occur on our end of the pipes. This can result in substantial savings. For example, if roads or sidewalks need to be torn up to reach a blocked pipe, we will fix the pipe and cover the street repairs. If you are having a sewer issue, be sure to call us first before you call a plumber so we can assess the situation.

We can be reached at (864) 277-4442. Emergency service is available 24/7. Join our newsletter to stay up to date on our latest projects and to learn more money-saving tips and tricks!

Every Drop Counts

Keep some of these techniques in mind to conserve water and help lower your bill — a win-win for everyone!

  1. Check Your Pipes. Dripping faucets, running toilets and broken sprinkler heads can waste gallons of water per month, adding unnecessary costs to your water and wastewater bills.
  2. Go Low Flow. Installing low-flow shower heads can reduce water flow by up to 60 percent, potentially saving you a bundle!
  3. Turn it Off. Shutting off the faucet while brushing your teeth can save up to four gallons of water a minute.
  4. Keep it! Collect running water while you are waiting for it to warm up or cool down. You can use this to water plants or put it in the fridge to drink later.
  5. Make it Count. Run your dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full. This can save thousands of gallons of water a year.

Visit Water: Use it Wisely for more than 100 cost-savings tips.