Pittsburgh, PA – The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) will join the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) to hear public comment on our recent request to increase rates for water and wastewater services.
On March 6, 2020, we filed a multi-year rate request with the PUC seeking an increase to water and wastewater revenue totaling $43.8 million in 2021 and $12.6 million in 2022. Our proposal also includes a more robust customer assistance program to provide additional support for our most vulnerable customers.
If our entire request is approved, the average water and sewer bill for a typical residential customer using 3,000 gallons of water per month would increase from $72.49 to $86.03, or by $13.54. For the average residential customer enrolled in our Bill Discount Program using 3,000 gallons of water per month, the average bill would decrease from $45.83 to $45.65, or by $0.18.
The rate proposal allows us to build upon our recent accomplishments, some of which include:
- Replaced over 7,000 lead service lines since 2016
- Added orthophosphate to our drinking water treatment process. Orthophosphate is a food-grade additive to reduce lead levels in the water.
- Replacing aging water mains to reduce the occurrence of water main breaks and increase the reliability of water service to our customers.
- Extending the life and reliability of our sewer system by retrofitting aging sewer lines with air and water-tight linings.
- Advancing the design and construction of new stormwater mitigation projects to reduce pollution and sewer overflows.
To further our progress toward a modern water system, we are implementing a more than $200 million capital program. These projects are an investment to improve the treatment of drinking water, add redundancy to our water distribution system, and rebuild aging sewer lines. These improvements will provide current and future customers with a reliable water system they can count on.
Attending the Public Hearings
Members of the public are welcome to attend these hearings and provide comment for the public record. The hearings are an opportunity for customers to share their views on the Authority’s proposed rate increase to the presiding PUC Administrative Law Judge, PWSA representatives, and other parties in the case.
The public input hearings will be held telephonically and will take place on the following dates and times.
- Tuesday, July 7, 2020 at 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM
- Wednesday, July 8, 2020 at 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM
- Thursday, July 9, 2020 at 1:00 PM and 6:00 PM
The public hearings are part of the PUC’s process to evaluate our recent proposal and need for this revenue. They will consider testimony from the public before making a final determination on the rate change. You do not need to be an expert to testify. Any testimony, whether supporting or opposing the Authority’s request, can be helpful to the PUC’s investigation. All testimony given under oath becomes part of the official rate case record.
If you wish to testify at the telephonic public input hearing, you must either:
- Contact the Office of Consumer Advocate (OCA) toll-free at 1-800-684-6560
- Register by clicking on the PWSA link and complete the registration form by Monday, July 6, 2020, at 1:00 pm.
If you do not contact the OCA or register with PWSA by July 6th, you may not be able to testify in the telephonic public input hearings.
If you do not wish to testify, but want to listen to the public input hearing, you may contact the OCA to obtain the call-in information by 1:00 pm on Monday, July 6, 2020, or use the PWSA link at any time to join the public input hearing. For those receiving a hard copy of this notice, please type the following web link into a web browser to register for the meeting.
The PUC began providing oversight of our customer service, operations, and rate-making after the Governor signed Act 65 in December 2017. We are the first municipal authority to be regulated by the PUC. For more information on PUC oversight and actions customers can take in response to the rate request, please visit www.pgh2o.com/customer-rights.
To read more about our rate request, please go to www.pgh2o.com/our-water-future.