Maine Water Company (Maine Water) filed a water rate increase request on June 25th with the Maine Public Utilities Commission (PUC) for its Camden & Rockland Division. Maine Water’s request of $447,338 in additional revenues would add about eight cents per day to the water bill of a residential customer who uses 1,200 cubic feet per quarter, or about 100 gallons per day. The last time rates were increased in the Camden & Rockland Division was 2010.
The PUC has up to nine months to review the request and make a final decision, although a decision could be made sooner. All customers will be mailed a notice of this proceeding, which outlines their rights to participate in the process.
“We have carefully managed our expenses in the past three years, but we continue to see declining water consumption in our residential and industrial customer groups, with a 2% overall decrease in water sales since 2009” stated Maine Water President Judy Wallingford. “We are continuing to replace aging infrastructure in this water system, including the construction of a water storage tank in Camden costing close to $1 million, replacing a tank that dates back to 1901. Water main replacement projects totaling almost 2 miles of pipe at a cost of $1.5 million are under construction now and will be completed this summer. This systematic replacement program is appropriate for a water system that was started in the late 1800’s and that has over 150 miles of aging water mains in the ground.”
If the PUC were to approve Maine Water’s entire rate request, the average quarterly bill for a customer using 1,200 cubic feet of water would be $98.09, or about $33 per month. Residential customers will continue to pay about a penny per gallon of water delivered directly to their tap.
The Camden & Rockland water system serves 7,600 customers in the communities of Rockland, Camden, Rockport, Thomaston, Owls Head, Union and Warren and is one of 20 Maine water or wastewater systems owned or operated by Maine Water.