Philly Water Bills Are About to Increase

Rates will rise by 10 percent over the next two years, the city announced Wednesday. | Adam Kazmierski | Adam Kazmierski

The Water, Sewer and Stormwater Rate Board released its rate determination for the next two fiscal years Wednesday — and rates are going up.

Water bills will increase by almost 10 percent over the next two fiscal years, the Mayor’s Office of Communications announced in a statement.

Beginning this July 1st, the monthly bill of typical residents will increase by $3.44 per month, making the new average monthly household water bill $70.87 (an average Philadelphia household uses 600 CCF of water per month, according to the determination). That’s a roughly 5 percent increase for one year.

On July 1st, 2017, the average monthly water bill would increase an additional $3.18 to $74.05.

This is the first year rates were determined by the recently formed Water, Sewer and Stormwater Rate Board instead of the Water Department. The rate increase is intended to make up for projected budget shortfalls.

The Board also announced that it’s working toward implementing a 2015 City-Council approved ordinance to allow for a discount program for eligible low-income water customers.

In November, delinquent water bill payments totaled $259 million – 40 percent of customers were not up to date on bills, the Inquirer reported.

A new program called the “Income-based Water Rate Assistance Program” is set to begin taking applications by summer of 2017.  Details on how the program will offer payment plans based on income level are currently in the works, according to the statement.

The Water, Sewer and Stormwater Rate Board, a five-person volunteer board appointed by the Mayor and confirmed by City Council, held public hearings on the proposed rate increase this year.

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