The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority Board of Directors yesterday approved a four-year rate structure that will pay for the Clean Water Plan to improve the quality of the water in the region’s rivers and streams. These increases are significantly lower than previously estimated.
The board chose to set rates for a four-year period because it allows residents, businesses and municipalities that are part of the ALCOSAN system plan their budgets for the long term without the prospect of surprise increases.
Beginning in January 2018, the average residential customer who uses 12,000 gallons of water per quarter and whose bill from ALCOSAN was $390 in 2017, will pay $419 in 2018. That is an increase of 7.5% which comes to $29.22 per year or $2.43 per month more. In 2019, 2020 and 2021, rates will increase 7% each year, with the cost to the average customer being $513 per year or $42.75 per month by 2021.
ALCOSAN’s rate is computed two ways, the per-gallon rate and the customer service charge. The current rate of $6.91 per 1,000 gallons of water used will rise to $7.42 per 1,000 gallons for 2018. The quarterly customer service charge, $14.51 in 2017, will be $15.60 in 2018.
ALCOSAN’s charges do not include the amount added by each municipality to maintain local infrastructure.
Low-income homeowners in the ALCOSAN territory can reduce their bills by applying to the Authority’s Clean Water Assistance Fund. The fund has made available $1 million to help low-income families and individuals pay their wastewater treatment bills.