Oakland Township residents water rates to go up $400 a year

Residents of Oakland Township are sounding off about water prices. Specifically, the hike some 750 users will soon see on their water bill could cost them an extra $400 a year - or $100 more each quarter for the next 30 years.

"it is unfair to do to people," said one resident at Wednesday night's meeting.

"I have a lot of people in my neighborhood who are on fixed incomes," said another resident. "And a hundred bucks - is a lot - a hundred bucks to them is a big friggin' deal."

The price hike is to cover state-mandated water quality improvements for the township's southeast water system that include the construction of a 500,000-gallon water storage tank with a booster station to provide an emergency water supply during power outages and peak demands for water.

Officials say it will improve water quality and protect public health - allowing for the ability to use chlorine as a disinfectant.

"This is a $5.2 million dollar project to put in a water tank, a storage tank, a pumping system, a chlorine system that is purification of the water to make sure it is good - it's groundwater, not lake water," Jim Nash said.

Nash is the Oakland County water resources commissioner - overseeing the project.

FOX 2: "It's a well system that they are on, that's why it needs to be improved and purified and stored in different ways?"

"Right," he said. "For the standard pressure and keeping pressure for a power failure."

Nash said he is aware that at the meeting Wednesday night there were complaints about the increased cost - and concerns a flat rate increase isn't fair - and that some say the rate hike should be based on the volume of water used instead.

These issues are now in front of the Oakland Township Board of Trustees to consider and decide.