Baltimore water bills. Photo credit: Emily Sullivan/WYPR.

Baltimore’s Board of Estimates is expected to vote Wednesday to raise water, sewer and storm water rates.

According to a proposal from the city’s Department of Public Works, water and storm water rates would increase by 3 percent each year for the next three years while sewer rates would jump by 3.5 percent every year during that same period.

That adds $3.75 each month to the average residential customer bill of $118 starting July 1 next year, according to the public works department. By comparison, households in Washington, D.C. paid on average $118 monthly whereas Philadelphia residents pay $73 and those in Detroit pay $75 trying to maintain similar infrastructure.

In 1997, the typical household water bill in Baltimore was about $12.83 but that does not include new fees added over the years such as the Chesapeake Bay Restoration Fee, infrastructure fees and account management fee.

The jumps in water, sewer and storm water rates are needed to cover the increased costs of maintaining the system, public works officials said.

“Over the years, DPW has significantly invested in our aging infrastructure to preserve the quality of our system,” according to a statement from the Baltimore Department of Public Works.

Read more at WYPR.