PSC reviewing proposed water rate hike - WOWK 13 Charleston, Huntington WV News, Weather, Sports

PSC reviewing proposed water rate hike

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A waterline break created a sheet of ice and a lot of problems Monday night.

Four crashes happened within minutes of each other on Greenbrier Street on the way to Yeager Airport in Charleston around 7:30 p.m.

On Tuesday, there was another water main break on Route 25 in Nitro.

Luckily, this one did not affect any customers.

Situations like these aren't uncommon because the pipes are extremely old.

West Virginia American Water has asked the Public Service Commission to allow it to place a 19 percent rate hike on customers to help with the aging infrastructure.

Right now, customers pay an average of $39 a month, but by the end of the year, that could jump to $47.

A majority of the water pipes are between 50-100 years old and coming to the end of their life span.

"Most of your initial investment happened at the end of the 1800s and the end of the 1900s and then post World War 2. So, a lot of the useful life on our pipes is generally 75 to 100 years so we've reached that time period now," said Laura Jordan, West Virginia American Water.

At just a penny per gallon of water, your coin is split three ways: 49 percent goes to the companies operating expenses, 17 percent for taxes, and 34 percent to fix old pipes like the one on Greenbrier Road.

"A third of that goes to exactly what you see here with infrastructure investment, infrastructure replacement, replacing our pipes, upgrading our treatment facilities,upgrading pumps and booster stations and rehabilitating tanks," Jordan said.

If the PSC approves the hike, customers will see changes on their bills in October.

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