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BEND, OR -- The amount of water Bend residents are using right now will be used by the city to calculate what new monthly water and sewer rates will be. City Councilors voted last month to restructure water and sewer rates to do away with the current flat-rate system. 

 
"Your sewer rate will be calculated instead in the amount of water that is typically going down the sewer," says Mike Buettner, Bend's Water Conservation Program Manager. "And the best way to do that is to typically look at the amount of water use that takes place during the months of December, January, February. During those months we're typically not irrigating, or we're not washing a car in the driveway, and so on, so a majority of that water use we know is occurring inside of the home."
 
The decision to get rid of the flat fee has been similarly adapted by other cities. But, Buettner says, "I wouldn't say that we're following suit. Every city is so different, and the way their rates have historically developed over time. This is a change that was long needed for the city of Bend, and it will really help even the playing field, create that equitability and fairness that the council set out to get with the new water rate." 
 
The city is partnering with EPA WaterSense, Alliance for Water Efficiency and Irrigation Association to promote wise water use. Learn more about the city's efforts, and learn tips on conserving water in your own home, HERE. Residents can also request a free indoor water conservation kit. For more details email the city at conservation@bendoregon.gov, or call 541-317-3000.

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