How much more will you end up paying?

Later this week, bills for water and sewer service for many New Jersey residents will be going up.

According to New Jersey American Water President Mark McDonough, customers will be paying an average of 4.7% more beginning Sept. 1.

He said the typical customer uses 5,520 gallons of water a month so “the rate increase on the monthly bill for that customer will be about $2.93 for water, and then for our wastewater customers it’s about $3.74.”

New Jersey American has about 660,000 water customers and 50,000 sewer customers in 18 counties.

Scott Reynolds, Fred Dillon, Karen Reynolds
(AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)
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What’s the increase for?

He said the rate increase is needed to cover the investment the company has already made across its entire system.

“We were in this rate case recovering about $985 million of infrastructure investment that we put into our treatment and distribution system upgrades to ensure we can deliver safe, clean reliable water.”

He pointed out New Jersey American Water continues to invest $350 to $400 million a year on its system “putting new, reliable piping, valves and other materials primarily in the ground, for water.”

Stay one step ahead

McDonough noted while water main brakes may still occur, “we have a very sophisticated program that allows us to try and identify which pipe is the most aging and which has the most challenges.”

He said depending on soil conditions and what the old pipe is made of, a determination will be made on whether that pipe is past its useful life or not.

He noted customers are getting information about the increase in their next bill.

The company offers assistance programs to customers who have difficulty paying.

He said that while you will be paying more, “the cost of water and wastewater service remains just about a penny a gallon.”

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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