Some of the comments on this and related media stories seem to consistently confuse water rates and sewer rates. These are 2 entirely separate issues, related only by the fact that Portland requires the Water Bureau to include sewer rates on one combined bill. Portland's WATER rates are not particularly high in comparison to other cities of similar size and configuration. The rate shock experienced by Portland customers is almost entirely a product of the Big Pipe and related to cleaning up the Willamette River. The conflation of water & sewer rates in these discussions does everyone a serious disservice. The Mercury has helped clarify the issues by this well-written and well-researched article.
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