2019 Rates and Capital Projects

December 19, 2018


Being able to plan, complete and fund capital water system improvements is essential for the continued operation of the water distribution system. During 2018, the Board of Directors of the Sewickley Water Authority commissioned a rate study and had numerous discussions on how to adequately fund capital improvements in the public water system without taking on new debt.


The water rates have not been raised since 2012.  In 2013 and 2014, 1.6 million dollars was borrowed to refinance previous debt and complete capital projects. In an effort to fund currently proposed projects without taking on additional debt a rate increase was approved and will be applied to all accounts in January 2019.


The rate increase was necessary to offset declining revenues due to industry wide trends of lower consumption by end users. This nationwide trend is attributed to a number of factors, such as high efficiency plumbing fixtures, increased conservation awareness and general economic conditions outside of the control of the water producers.


Capital projects scheduled in 2019 include replacement of water main on Grove Street in the Borough of Sewickley and on Pink House Road in Sewickley Heights Borough. All of the mains scheduled for replacement were originally constructed prior to 1940 and have been prone to leaks. The construction cost of these projects alone is estimated at $ 664,127.00.


Smaller capital projects to maintain the operational readiness of the water treatment plant and ensure the safety of the drinking water supply are also planned and will be completed in 2019. These projects include replacement of valves at the water treatment plant and the replacement of the reservoir cover.  


The consumption rate per 1000 gallons will increase $1.08 and the base meter fee will increase proportionally for all meter sizes.  An average customer with a 5/8 meter using 5000 gallons of water per month will see their bill increase $ 8.51 per month.


For more information visit the Documents & Forms section