For some residents and businesses in San José, the prices of drinking water and sewage services are rising

The San Jose City Council yesterday approved higher costs for drinking water and sewer services for some area residents and businesses.

For San Jose Municipal Water System customers in North San Jose, Alviso, Evergreen and Edenvale, drinking water costs will increase by $10 to $11 per thirty days. Wastewater disposal costs may even increase by 9% per thirty days.

The changes are expected to return into effect on July 1.

San Jose’s municipal water system supplies drinking water to 12% of the town’s residents, in keeping with City. It is one among three drinking water suppliers in San Jose, together with the San Jose Water Company and the Great Oaks Water Company, each of that are privately owned.

City council members voted 10 to 1 to extend sewage disposal fees and eight to 2 to extend drinking water fees.

The city says the increases are essential due to rising costs for wholesale water, which it purchases from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission, the Santa Clara Valley Water District and South Bay Water Recycling.

Funds from the proposed sewer disposal fees may even allow the town to recoup the prices of operating, maintaining and improving the wastewater and stormwater systems that make up the San Jose-Santa Clara Regional Wastewater Plant and San Jose's 2,000-mile-long wastewater collection system.

But a business owner said at Tuesday's meeting that the tariff increases could seriously harm the town's economy.

“The few producers left in San Jose could be significantly fewer after this,” said Dan Gordon, co-founder of the Gordan Biersch Brewery in San Jose, at a public hearing.

He said he could have to put off two of his employees after calculating how the rise in sewer service fees could affect his business.

Matt Loesch, director of the town's constructing department, said members of the treatment plan advisory committee have already been discussing those rates on a monthly basis.

“We talked about what can be postponed and what cannot,” said Loesch.

Loesch said the power was very large and between 60 and 70 years old.

“We can't afford a failure of the sewage treatment plant under any circumstances,” he said. “So the 9 percent increase is a lot, but in my opinion it's justified.”

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