In 2007 before the merger, the Dallas County Water Control and Improvement District #6 (DC6) hired R.W. Beck, Inc. to conduct a rate design study for its water and wastewater utilities. This study suggested a rate increase each year from 2008 to 2011. The former changes were the last rate increases for the City of Balch Springs. In addition, the study suggested that the District conduct annual reviews of the water and wastewater rates to see if modifications are necessary by monitoring inflation rates and the cost of providing service. Following a 5 year lapse, the City has examined the current rate structure and found that current rates have not kept up with service costs or maintenance needs.
In 2016, the City retained the services of Willdan Financial Services to perform a rate study and design a proposed rate structure that would provide the following benefits and, to the best extent possible, minimize the impact of rate adjustments on ratepayers:
- Allow the utility operate on a stand-alone basis and independent of general fund assistance
- Result in financially-healthy utility that has ability to fund operations and capital needs
- Cover estimated increased costs of DWU purchases and other operating expenses
- Enable City to invest $7.8 million in the water and wastewater system
Consultants, independent auditors, and city staff highly suggested the implementation of the proposed rate increases in order to ensure future sustainability. On May 8, 2017 at the regular city council meeting, council members and the Mayor voted 4-3 to increase water and wastewater rates as of June 1, 2017, October 1, 2018, October 1, 2019, and October 1, 2020.