Water Rate Hike May Affect More Township Customers

LOWER POTTSGROVE PA – A limited but growing number of Lower Pottsgrove residents are likely to be hit by higher water costs if Pennsylvania American Water Company succeeds in obtaining Pennsylvania Utility Commission approval of a water rate increase request. Under the company’s full proposal to the commission, monthly water costs for average customers would rise by more than 24 percent in 2023.

The commission received the rate request April 29 (2022), but as of mid-May hearings on its proposal had not yet been scheduled, township Manager Ed Wagner recently told the Board of Commissioners.

Until last year, Pennsylvania American water customers in Lower Pottsgrove were limited primarily to homes on portions of Putter Lane and Rupert Road at the township’s east side. The number of township customers has already grown somewhat, however, and will grow significantly larger as apartment, town home, and commercial construction proceeds at the Sanatoga Greene complex on Evergreen Road, Wagner explained.

Sanatoga Greene developers contracted with Pennsylvania American as their water supplier in 2017, after the Pottstown Borough Authority said it was unable to provide Sanatoga Greene with sufficient pressure needed for its fire sprinkler systems. Most of the township is served by authority water.

  • Also affected locally by any rate hikes would be Pennsylvania American customers in Spring City, Royersford, Phoenixville, Limerick, and Upper Providence.

Under its request to state utility regulators, Pennsylvania America is seeking an annual revenue increase of about $173.2 million. The company said the increases would offset the cost of water and wastewater system improvements.

Monthly water bills for “the average residential customer” would increase from the current charge of $60.49 to $75.49. Average customers are said to use 3,212 gallons per month. The proposal would result in added costs of $15 a month or $180 a year.

Average monthly residential wastewater bills also would increase, if approved, from $76.64 to $95.69, about $19 a month or $228 a year.

Although it claims the new rates would “remain affordable” to most households, Pennsylvania American also said it would expand its discount billing structure for eligible customers.

Wagner’s discussion of the increases was part of the Board of Commissioners meeting on May 19.

Photo by KOBU Agency via Unsplash, used under license