The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission will hold public hearings this month to consider a change in its rate structure to generate revenue for improvements to existing water and sewer systems. The new rate structure, recommended by a panel of officials from Prince George’s and Montgomery Counties and the Commission, would charge residents an additional rate based on the amount of water used.
From the Washington Examiner:
The water agency for Prince George’s and Montgomery counties predicts needing a 19 percent increase in its construction budget to pay for improvements to its aging system over the next six years — probably meaning more rate increases for residents in the coming years.
The improvements are desperately needed, according to WSSC spokesman Jim Neustadt. About a quarter of the WSSC’s 5,551 miles of water main are at least 50 years old, he said. By fiscal 2015, the agency hopes to begin replacing 55 miles of water main a year, at a cost of about $1.4 million per mile of pipeline.
In fiscal 2011, the last year for which complete data is available, there were 34.7 water main breaks for every 100 miles of water main, and the agency expects roughly 34 breaks for every 100 miles in the current fiscal year.