Compared to our neighbors in DC and the close-in suburbs of Maryland, we who live in Fairfax and Loudoun counties have it pretty good when it comes to maintaining our water and sewer pipes without major rate increases.

From the August 4, 2014 Washington Post, FYI:

Federally mandated low-flow toilets, shower heads and faucets are taking a financial toll on the nation’s water utilities, leaving customers to make up the shortfall with higher water rates and new fees that have left many paying more for less.

Utility officials say they understand that charging more for water because demand has dropped might seem to violate a basic premise of Economics 101. But utilities that generally charge by the number of gallons used are beginning to feel the financial pinch of 20 years of environmentally friendly fixtures and appliances, as older bathrooms and kitchens have been remodeled, utility experts say.  . . .

Fairfax Water has buffered the financial impact of lower water use by charging a steady 5 percent to 6 percent annual rate increase over the past decade. The utility has no plans to impose a separate infrastructure fee, Bailey said. She noted that Fairfax Water’s pipes are relatively young, with most less than 50 years old.

“So far, we’re doing fine and meeting our revenue goals,” (spokesperson Jeane) Bailey said. “We’ve been able to smooth things out with incremental increases in our rates.”

If you want a glimpse of what it would be like if we don't maintain our water infrastructure, check out the challenges DC and Maryland face at the rest of the Post's story here.

Catch this illuminating comment by "DissentingPostReader at 930a on Aug. 4, 2014:

"Compare the WSSC headquarters in Laurel with Fairfax Water's headquarters in Fairfax. The WSSC building looks like a palace compared to Fairfax's functional quarters. That tells me everything I need to know."