Water price in Agen Agglomeration “will not increase in 2023”

Consumers experienced growth last year. But what will the price be in the future?

In the context of inflation, many French communities have voted to increase water prices from January 1. What about the Agglomeration of Agenaise, a community that has entrusted the management of its network to Eau de Garonne (a subsidiary of the Saur group)?
“The price of a cubic meter of water will not increase in 2023,” says Michel Mallet, local director of Eau de Garonne. Of course, there will be an update according to the index published in the Official Journal every year, but this is a national mechanism and will be 1.77% in 2023. But otherwise, the price per cubic meter at Agglo d’Agen will not change this year, because the community knows that it is moving forward in 2022 due to the CMV problem. Translation: VCM (vinyl chloride monomer) is a chemical product resulting from the degradation of PVC pipes, and investments were required for the gradual replacement of the network, so this price increase in 2022 (9 cents per cubic meter, the latter thus rising to EUR 2.05) .

Inevitable investments…

There are no scary changes this year, so future investments are inevitable. The underground pipe network covers an area of ​​about 1,600 km (excluding the commune of Puymirol, which was integrated into Aglo last year), and it is aging and also burdened with leaks: only 64% of drinking water reaches customers. The income is bad because of that, you have to invest and in the end the consumer will put his hand in his pocket…
Therefore, there will be no increase in 2023, but other files will mark the new year. Thus, work on the fourth catchment station, which began at the end of 2021, will be completed before the summer, and this station will start operating in September. Remember that tap water comes from the Garonne River. Before being filtered, it is captured and sent to the network using three collection points: Sérignac (850,000 m3 per year), Sivoizac/Le Passage-d’Agen (1,600,000 m3) and Lacapelette/Rouquet (4,500,000 m3). The fourth point is made in Sérignac (at a place called Gravissat) and the maximum production capacity will be 250 m3 of potable water per hour.

Cheaper on the Puymirol side?

This new equipment will come as Eau de Garonne prepares to integrate new customers, connecting residents of the former Paps (community of Puymirol communities) to the Eau 47 network until now. A single price for water for all residents of Aglo d’Age, they could see their bills… go down. Investing in Sérignac also aims to secure access to the resource, avoiding the need to tap groundwater.
“Frugality” is the term to remember for 2023. “Water is more precious than ever, insists Michel Mallet, and even if it is drawn from the river, it is not free. The challenge is not the cost per cubic meter, but to limit withdrawals and therefore stop wasting this water. We need to continue to educate consumers, and in this regard, the installation of new generation meters is a success. We have replaced 47,500 of the 50,000 meters in the network and remote reading allows customers to detect abnormal over-consumption or even leaks. The feedback is great and we want to improve the warning systems. Why not send an SMS when a customer wants to exceed the 100 m3 limit? »

Smart consumption

Another initiative: “water saving kits” that will be distributed to residents through municipal social action centers or at the Eau de Garonne agency on Boulevard Carnot in Agen, offering good advice on reducing waste. An idea is also studied: the idea of ​​a “solidarity plumber”, or rather a consultant who comes to your home to give advice. For example: placing an object (like a filled bottle) in the bowl of the toilet reduces the volume to be filled by the same amount and therefore you use less water to flush the toilet… QED!
These recommendations for “smart consumption” should be implemented in the first half of 2023.

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