ST. LOUIS – A major water main break on Interstate 64 and subsequent severe flooding last month in were something of a wake-up call for St. Louis city leadership.

There is much-needed investment for the city’s aging pipes and water system.

“It’s needed, it just provides a good illustration that this infrastructure doesn’t last forever,” said Curt Skouby, director of Public Utilities. “And we need to – not only do we need to replace it, but in the meantime, we need to be able to respond and make the repairs.”

One way to do that is through Bill 49, which proposes an average rate increase of $5 a month, or a total of $15 a quarter, beginning in July 2023, as well as another $5 monthly increase in January 2024.

This bill was presented and discussed at the Public Infrastructure and Utilities meeting on Wednesday.

Dogs for Our Brave is a nonprofit organization that rescues dogs and trains them to be service dogs for veterans all over the country. And for them, having a clean environment is important.

“We take pride in the welfare of the animals here, and we have a number of husbandry practices that require water to be able to maintain the best welfare possible for our animals,” said Bridgette McAuley, the group’s director of training. “And so, it’s really important to have that clean water.”

When that water main broke on I-64, they felt the pinch for several days.

“We had such low water pressure, and it impacts the welfare of the animals because we have to maintain a certain level of cleanliness in this building,” McAuley said. “If it’s $5 to $20 a month, it seems like a reasonable price to pay.”

Residents in need of support in paying their water bill can contact the Missouri’s Low-Income Household Waters Assistance Program.