Water Rates May Increase Over 30% In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvanian American Water is seeking to raise $1.13 billion for planned water and wastewater system investments to be made through 2023. Quality drinking water comes at a price, but if this proposed rate increase goes through, that price will go way up.

Last month, Pennsylvania American Water filed a rate adjustment request with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission. Pennsylvania American Water is seeking an annual revenue increase of approximately $173.2 million, which will fund water and wastewater system investments, including replacing aging infrastructure and complying with water quality and environmental regulations. Pennsylvania American Water is also proposing to expand its customer-owned lead service line replacement program. They are seeking to more than double their annual investment to $15 million, which is estimated to increase replacements to 5,400 customer-owned lead service lines each year.

If Pennsylvania American Water’s proposed rates are approved, the monthly water bill for the average residential customer using 3,212 gallons per month will increase by 31.4102% from the current charge of $60.49 to $75.49. The average monthly residential wastewater bill would increase by 24.8565%, from $76.64 to $95.69. The rate adjustments would go into effect in 2023, except for certain recently acquired systems where the rate increases are proposed to take effect later.

“As a company, we believe that the service we provide must be safe, meaning it complies with EPA regulations and Safe Drinking Water Act standards; reliable, so that it is resilient in the face of floods, droughts, and other climate risks; and affordable,” said Pennsylvania American Water President Mike Doran. “One of the steps we are taking to address the issue of affordability is a proposal to expand our low-income discount program.”

According to a press release, “Results of a customer affordability study conducted as part of the filing demonstrate that the affordability of the company’s water and wastewater services as a comparison of monthly bills to monthly household income has steadily improved over the past decade and will remain affordable under the company’s proposed rates.

Recognizing that affordability may be an issue for some customers, the company is proposing an expanded, three-tiered approach to its current low-income discount program to better address the affordability needs of different levels of household income. Under this expanded tariff, eligible households would receive monthly bill discounts of between 30 and 80 percent for water and wastewater service.”

For more information on American Water’s rate increase proposal and discount program, call customer service at 1-800-565-7292 or visit https://www.amwater.com/paaw/customer-service-billing/your-water-and-wastewater-rates.

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