Williamsport Municipal Water Authority and Williamsport Sanitary Authority Announce Rate Increase
Williamsport, PA, June 16, 2022 - The Williamsport Municipal Water Authority (WMWA) and Williamsport Sanitary (WSA) have officially adopted budgets and rates for Fiscal Year 2023. The Authorities fiscal year starts on July 1and ends on June 30.
The WMWA rates will increase 5% while the WSA rates will increase 4%. The new rates will be $6.75 per 1000 gallons of water and $13.85 per 1000 gallons of sewage and will be effective on all billings after July 1, 2022.
The 5% water rate increase costs the average home which uses 40,000 gallons of water a year an extra $13.60 per year. The 4% sewage rate increase will cost an extra $19.44 per year and is based on 36,000 gallons per year for the average home.
The significant drivers for the Authorities’ rate increases stem from inflation. The cost of chemicals used to treat water and sewage have increased 50%. Aggregate electrical costs have increased approximately 45%. The WSA is a particularly heavy user of electricity due to pumps and machinery needed to convey and treat sewage. Further, materials costs have increased by 20%. These are the pipes, meters and essential construction items which are needed to keep the system in good operating condition. Due to the significant and continuous inflation, the Authorities are forced to keep pace to continue to provide essential services.
While the water and sewer rates remain low compared to surrounding communities, the Authorities continue to complete capital projects to assure reliable and well-functioning systems. Grants often supplement revenue to complete these projects at a savings to the ratepayers.
The WMWA is proactively addressing priority water mains through capital projects. Over the past 2 years, a total of approximately $3.2 million has been spent on approximately 3 miles of water main replacements with an additional $3.5 million
allocated for approximately 3.1 miles of water main scheduled to be replaced over the next year. Additionally, the WMWA replaced a 25 year old deteriorating cover on a 4 million gallon potable water reservoir costing approximately $550,000. The WMWA also anticipates spending approximately $3.5 million on necessary modifications at the two primary water source reservoirs. Each reservoir contains approximately 530 million gallons of raw water.
Similarly, the WSA is proactively addressing priority sanitary mains through capital projects. A total of approximately $625,000 was spent on cement lining approximately 1,160 linear feet of 4-feet diameter brick sewer main. An additional approximately $900,000 was spent on lining approximately 4.5 miles of 8-inchs to 15-inch diameter sanitary mains this past year. Further, $1.25 million has been allocated to line approximately 3 miles of 8-inch to 24 inch diameter sanitary main. The WSA also anticipates spending approximately $1.6 million on replacing equipment at one of the sanitary treatment plants over the next 2 years.
Michael D. Miller