- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Chris Parillo’s letter to the editor (“D.C. must get a handle on spending,” March 18) contains a number of mistaken assumptions about the budget, rate structure and operations of the District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority.

For example, the Clean Rivers Project, a $2.6 billion project to reduce overflows to our waterways (a project Mr. Parillo declared “unsustainable”) is required by a federal consent decree. Likewise, we have refined the Impervious Area Charge that funds this project so nearly 92 percent of our customers actually pay the same or a smaller share of the total this year than they did the year before.

However, we believe our customers should absolutely demand answers about proper stewardship of their hard-earned funds, especially as we propose a rate increase in challenging economic times.

To that end, we are in the midst of a citywide series of town hall meetings and are preparing for a public hearing on our proposed rates. We would love to hear from all of our customers, including Mr. Parillo. The schedule can be found at dcwater.com/rates.

GEORGE S. HAWKINS

General Manager

District of Columbia Water and Sewer Authority

Washington