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Will Water Bills Go Up?

Philadelphia Water Department to hold public hearings on rate increase.

If you want any say about your water bill going up, now is your chance to weigh in. 

The Philadelphia Water Department announced a series of public meetings to be held throughout July for utility customers to discuss the proposed rate hike.

Currently, the average monthly bill is $57.43. If adopted, the rate would go up $3.52 in October 2012, a 6.1 percent increase. Over the next four years, the rate would gradually increase, with the eventual average monthly bill totaling $73.82 in 2016.

In a news release, the Water Department said the increase would boost revenue $316.2 million from October 2012 through June 2016. 

“Water rates fund the day-to-day operation of our 6,000-mile water and sewer pipe network, pumping stations, water and wastewater treatment facilities. They support a host of programs that ensure that our product ranks among the top in the nation,” Deputy Finance Commissioner Joseph Clare said in a news release.

“They also ensure that the system will work for decades to come. The proposed new rates will allow PWD to meet all of our operating expenses and fund extensive capital improvements to protect the infrastructure and in turn, protect residents from flooding during increasingly intense rainstorms.”

Locally, PWD hosts a meeting at July 10 at 6 p.m. That's the second of five meetings. 

Others will be held:

  • July 9—509 S. Broad St. 10 a.m. to noon
  • July 12—9801 Frankford Ave. 6 to 8 p.m.
  • July 16—Broad & Master Sts. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.
  • July 17—5240 Chestnut St. 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.

PWD proposes the increase for Oct. 1.

Click here for a breakdown from PWD.

Debbie Thomas July 05, 2012 at 06:22 PM
I realize that it is one of many reasons for this requested increase, but why do paying customers always have to help low income people pay their bills? Why can't a means testing system be set up to see who qualifies for assistance? Property tax increases, water rate increases........the working people are really being squeezed out. I have nothing against senior citizens but not all of them are poor and all should not be getting the discount.
Philadelphia Water Department July 05, 2012 at 08:18 PM
The senior discount applies to those with a household income of less than $30,500.00 http://www.phillywatersheds.org/rates
Sam Fran Scavuzzo (Editor) July 05, 2012 at 09:08 PM
Thanks for the info, PWD!
Debbie Thomas July 06, 2012 at 02:39 PM
Thank you for the information.
Philadelphia Water Department July 06, 2012 at 03:28 PM
No problem! It is good for PWD to hear people's positions on these things. We hope that many will participate in the rate hearings/public meetings so we can try to balance all of the interests. The first meeting takes place on Monday at 10am and will be live streaming at www.phillycam.org/pwdrates.
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