Virginia American Water recently announced that interim water and wastewater rates will be implemented on May 1, 2019 for residential, commercial and industrial customers. The company filed a general rate application with the State Corporation Commission (SCC) on November 2, 2018, requesting an overall increase in rates of $5.6 million, based on approximately $98 million in infrastructure upgrades since April 2017.
The interim rates will remain in place until the SCC issues its final rate order after a thorough public review, which could take several months. The company will issue credits with interest to all customers if rates determined by the SCC’s final order are lower than the rates Virginia American Water requested in its application and is implementing on May 1, 2019.
“Even with the new interim rates, the proposed cost of water service in all Virginia American Water districts is lower than most other household utility bills – an exceptional value,” said Barry Suits, president, Virginia American Water.
Some of the company’s critical infrastructure projects included in the rate request are as follows:
- New domestic and industrial pump station and conversion from chlorine gas to sodium hypochlorite at the Hopewell treatment plant. Virginia American Water is also making plant improvements to address source water quality issues that impact taste and odor in Hopewell.
- Replacement of water mains that have reached the end of their useful lives throughout the city of Alexandria.
- Various water and wastewater infrastructure improvements in the company’s Prince William District (Dale City).
- Upgraded well and water main replacements in the Eastern District.
As noted in the rate filing, Virginia American Water is incorporating consolidated tariff pricing in a gradual manner consistent with Senate Bill 1492, which was signed in 2017. The result of the gradual move to consolidated pricing is that all water customers in Virginia American Water residential districts will have the same base rates and cost of water beginning on May 1, 2021.
The interim rates affect all customers in the company’s Alexandria, Hopewell, Prince William and Eastern Districts. The new monthly billing amounts (effective May 1, 2019 through April 30, 2020) for Virginia American Water’s residential customers are changing as follows for residential customers using 4,500 gallons per month (not including surcharges, taxes and third-party fees):
- Alexandria – A $6.40 increase per month
- Hopewell – A $2.86 increase per month
- Eastern – A $3.33 decrease per month
- Prince William – A $4.34 increase per month for water service, and a $1.03 decrease per month for wastewater service
Customers will be receiving information about the new rates in the mail. Customers seeking further information regarding the interim rates for their specific usage should go to virginiaamwater.com. Under Customer Service & Billing, choose Your Water and Wastewater Rates.
Additionally, customers can call Virginia American Water’s Customer Service Center at 800-452-6863.