Aqua Pennsylvania Files Rate Request Based on Water and Wastewater Infrastructure Repairs and Improvements Statewide

Aqua Pennsylvania

BRYN MAWR, PA — Aqua Pennsylvania Inc. filed an application with the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) on Friday requesting an increase in water and wastewater rates for its customers. The primary reason for the request is the recovery of $1.1 billion the company has prudently spent to upgrade its distribution and treatment systems, improving drinking water quality and service reliability throughout its water and wastewater operations.

“Since our last rate case, Aqua will have replaced more than 400 miles of aging water main, as well as associated valves, service lines and fire hydrants throughout approximately 5,800 miles of the distribution system. These critical improvements enhance service by reducing the number of water main breaks and leakage that can occur from older pipes, thereby reducing environmental impacts,” said Aqua Pennsylvania President Marc Lucca. “We also opened a new state-of-the-art environmental laboratory this year to help us continue our long history of providing safe drinking water to our customers and returning clean wastewater to the environment.” Aqua’s laboratory employees perform about 90,000 water quality tests a year.

A significant portion of Aqua’s capital program has been dedicated to upgrading and rehabilitating treatment plants and wells, including the installation of equipment to meet new, more stringent water quality requirements for increased sustained disinfection. Improvements to wastewater operations include collection system replacement and renewal, treatment plant rehabilitation to ensure reliable operation and that high-quality treated water is returned to the environment, upgrades to electrical systems, and the installation of generators to ensure continued service during power outages. Given increasing external threats, Aqua also invested heavily in cybersecurity programs to protect the computer systems used to operate treatment plants as well as those used to maintain sensitive customer and company data.

“Providing safe, reliable drinking water and wastewater service to our customers and communities is essential to their health, quality of life, environment and economic well-being,” Lucca said. “The vital nature of our mission became even more evident as our employees continued to serve our customers and improve our water and wastewater infrastructure during the COVID-19 pandemic. It’s imperative that we maintain and improve our critical infrastructure to ensure our service is ready when our customers need it.”

If the company’s full request were to be approved, it would increase a residential water bill for a typical customer using 4,000 gallons per month from $69.35 to $81.32, an increase of $11.97 a month (40 cents a day). The average monthly residential wastewater bill would increase from $55.51 to $73.95. Any new base rates set by the PUC would not be effective until 2022.

With over 490,000 water and wastewater customers throughout Pennsylvania, the company said its $1.1 billion of capital spending since the last rate request equates to an average investment of about $2,245 per customer.

If the PUC were to grant the entire request, the typical Aqua residential customer would still be able to have a day’s worth of water, approximately 134 gallons, for approximately $2.71 — or about 2 cents per gallon for quality water delivered directly to the customer’s home. This usage includes cooking, drinking, showering, washing clothes and dishes, and sanitation. The requested increase in annual revenue for Aqua is $97.7 million.

Aqua Pennsylvania states their customers can call 877.987.2782 for more information about the rate request.

For the latest news on everything happening in Chester County and the surrounding area, be sure to follow MyChesCo on Google News.