Aqua Pennsylvania goes to the well for 15% increase
Pa.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nov. 18, 2005--Aqua Pennsylvania,
Aqua Vice President
Kathy Pape said that the primary reason for the rate request is
the quarter billion dollars the company has invested in capital
improvements since its last rate request and that approximately
80 percent of the company's request is related to its capital
investment. "We've invested $274.5 million for capital
improvement projects throughout the state over the last two
years," explained Pape. "The money has been spent on
the replacement of aging water pipes and the construction of
storage tanks to provide improved water pressure and fire
protection and reliable service. Aqua also made major upgrades
to its water treatment facilities to continue to meet all
Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards, and
installed a new state-of-the-art radio frequency metering system
for efficiency and convenience. With 400,000 customers
According to the EPA, over the next 20 years, the nation's water systems need to invest about $277 billion for pipes, tanks, valves and treatment plants. Pape said that Aqua has taken a proactive approach to this nationwide problem by systematically replacing about one percent of its distribution system annually. Additionally, its treatment plants and other facilities are upgraded and maintained on a regular basis.
"We believe it's less expensive to make regular, ongoing improvements rather than defer maintenance and run the risk of water quality and service reliability issues in the future. Our customers benefit from our proactive approach, which increases reliability by reducing the potential for service interruptions," said Pape. "I suspect very few of our 400,000 customers can recall the last time they were without water."
If the PUC were to grant the entire request, a typical Aqua residential customer would still be able to have a day's worth of water (approximately 150 gallons) for approximately $1.45--less than the cost of one liter of premium bottled water. Pape noted that, "Even if the commission were to grant our entire increase, customers would still be able to have water delivered directly to their taps for one penny per gallon."
The total annual
revenue request for Aqua, which serves a total of 1.4 million
residents throughout the state, is $38.8 million.