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The average age of water mains in the District is 77 years, with sewers averaging 88 years. Officials say environmental mandates are increasing operational costs, too, with ratepayers picking up the bill.

“While the rates we charge our customers rise year after year, we are still catching up from a period of historic underinvestment in our infrastructure and operations,” D.C. Water officials told the council in its report to the committee.

“Meanwhile, there is a tremendous disconnect between the cost of the service and its value to civilization. Our average single-family monthly bill is about $66, compared to cellphone and cable bills that could easily cost twice as much.”