Water Company Proposes Possible Rate Hike

The McKinley Car Wash recycles thousands of gallons of water each day.
The McKinley Car Wash recycles thousands of gallons of water each day.

(KHNL) - The Honolulu Board of Water Supply is considering a ten to 15 percent increase over its current rate of $1.77 per thousand gallons of water.

While that means perhaps another three dollars a month for an average homeowner, businesses that rely on water usage could be paying even more.

McKinley Car Wash uses three or four gallons to wash a car. The company says it already takes step to watch it's water usage.

"We recycle practically all the water we use," said car wash operator Yukio Yoshikawa.

The Board says it needs the money to maintain and replace aging water mains.

"We just need to make sure that we are collecting enough revenues to run the operation, but we clearly are not in this to make money," said Su Shin, water board spokeswoman.

Water board officials said the recent rupture of a city sewer line highlights the need for proper maintenance.

"It's been a wake up call for all of us," Shin said. "The Board of Water Supply has been very cognizant of our responsibility to properly repair and replace our infrastructure over the years."

Some users said they can live with this increase.

"It's not going to make a big difference," Yoshikawa said. "I'm not concerned about the additional cost."

The water board has the authority to set its own rates, but the Honolulu City Council is looking to step in.

Eight council members signed off on a resolution asking for a postponement of any increase until the city completes an audit of the board's operations.