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Economy & Business

PA American Water Company Wants to Increase Rates

If the Pennsylvania American Water Company receives approval by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC), the water you use could cost you an extra $6.12 a month.

The company is in the process of increasing its rates for 2014.

Company spokeswoman Josephine Posti said the average customer uses 3,900 gallons of water a month.

Posti said the rate increase is to recover the cost of system upgrades since 2011.

“Since the last rate increase in 2011, we’ve invested about $731 million to improve water quality, service reliability and fire protection to the communities that we serve across Pennsylvania,” Posti said.

She said the company has worked to replace aging and undersized water mains, upgrade valves and pumping stations, install new fire hydrants and make repairs in the treatment plants.

Posti said the company is in the process of rehabilitating water storage tanks in Green Tree, Liberty Borough and South Fayette Township.

“Those tank rehab projects extend the service life and protect the water quality within the water storage tanks in the communities that are served by those tanks,” Posti said.

Posti said the company has invested $171 million in the city of Pittsburgh alone since 2011, and the rate increase would give the company an extra $58.6 million a year.

The PUC will have seven public hearings on the rate request starting Monday.

Posti said the company has an assistance program for low-income customers called H20 Help to Others program.

“This program is one that is unique to water utilities in the commonwealth, and it does provide grants as well as monthly service fee discounts to customers who qualify to the program,” Posti said.