18% Increase Could Take Effect In October If Approved

HARTFORD, Conn. (CBSNewYork) – Water rates could soon go up for hundreds of thousands of Connecticut residents.

Aquarion Water Company has proposed a 23 percent rate hike over three years for its more than 635,000 customers, WCBS 880 Connecticut Bureau Chief Fran Schneidau reported.

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Company spokesman Bruce Silverstone said replacing aging pipes is the main reason for the proposed hike.

“Some folks are certainly surprised at the amount we are asking. but really, what we have to do is replace this infrastrucure on a regular basis,” Silverstone told Schneidau.

Many of the underground pipes are more than a century old, he added.

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The first round of increases, if approved, would send rates up about 18 percent in October, Schneidau reported. An additional 1.5 percent increase would then be added each of the next two years.

“One of the things that people say is ‘why do you have to charge because God puts the water in the reservoirs.’ But we really provide a service and that service is the treatment of the water to ensure that it’s clean potable drinking water when they receive it,” said Silverstone.

The company still has to win approval before the rate hikes could take effect. Public hearings are scheduled in the service area.

If the rate hike takes effect, customers would pay roughly 18 percent more starting this fall and then an additional 1.5 percent over the next two years.

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