Philadelphia has one of the oldest water systems in the country. Some of the oldest parts of the system lie buried beneath the streets of South Philly. To help expedite the replacement of these aging water and sewer mains, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD) is seeking a rate increase. A public meeting scheduled to take place in Pennsport will afford customers a chance to speak out about the increase.
A water department spokesperson told the Post that “the rate increase will allow PWD to replace water and sewer lines at a faster rate, in order to prevent failures to the aging mains.” They added, “Our goal is to increase our replacement rate from our current average of 30 miles a year to 40 miles a year for water mains. And 8 miles to 12 miles for sewers.”
As part of their transparent rate-setting process, PWD is holding a series of “Public Input Hearings” across the city. One upcoming meeting will be held in South Philadelphia on Wednesday, May 2 from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. The meeting takes place at the EOM Athletic Association, 144 Moore Street, in Pennsport.
These hearings are held with the Water Rate Board, an independent five-member board created by voters to oversee rate changes. For new rates to be set, the department must show the board that the increase is justified.
Any testimony made by residents at hearings will become part of the public record.
A list other hearing dates and locations is available here.
Customers can view a detailed breakdown of how rates could change and what they fund here.