BCWSA 2015 Retail Water Rate Increase

Warrington, PA (December 22, 2015) – BCWSA announced today a retail water rate increase that will go into effect on January 1, 2016. The BCWSA retail water system is Langhorne Borough, Langhorne Manor Borough, Lower Southampton Township, Middletown Township, New Hope Borough, Penndel Borough, and Solebury Township. The rate increase is a direct result of costs associated with the installation of a fully self-owned water transmission system, a project that enabled BCWSA to break ties with the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD).

In 2011, BCWSA determined that installing a new system independent of the PWD would be the most cost effective change to make. The 45 year contract between BCWSA and PWD was expiring and rates were to immediately increase 100% and potentially another 120% in 2years. PWD was now including all citywide water system expenses in their “Blended Rate” (a rate which included all water pipes in the city system not just the ones used by BCWSA). Additional rate increases in following years was very likely to occur. From 2000 to 2011 the PWD’s water costs rose more than 300%. In addition, the PWD Baxter plant was built in 1909 and the average water line age is 78 years. Given the unavoidable PWD rate increases and the age of their infrastructure due for an upgrade, BCWSA compared the costs of staying with the PWD vs. the cost of building a system independent of the City.

BCWSA determined that the project would be more valuable and cost effective for customers. On July 1, 2014 BCWSA completely transferred off of the PWD water system. Since that time BCWSA has used revenue reserves to maintain the rate structure currently in place to fund both the cost of water and the cost of the debt for the new system installation.

The comparison of rates from other water providers in the area is below:

Limerick   PA American Water   $55.84
Lower MakeField   PA American Water   $55.84
Norristown   PA American Water   $55.84
Rate Zone 1 (See Yardley below)   PA American Water   $55.84
Yardley   PA American Water   $55.84
Hatboro   Aqua PA   $52.28
Jenkintown   Aqua PA   $52.28
Willow Grove   Aqua PA   $52.28
Main Division   Aqua PA   $51.20
Bensalem   Aqua PA   $51.20
Downingtown Municipal Authority       $45.00
BCWSA       $43.80
Perkasie Borough Authority       $37.17
Milford Township       $36.98

As you can see, even after the increase BCWSA’s rate will still be below many of the other providers in the area.