Customer Service Fee - Please be advised that at the October 26, 2016 Board Meeting, the Board of Directors voted to institute a customer service fee on all accounts based on the size of their water meter. The reasons for this action are described below.
The Authority's operational costs are approximately 85% fixed in nature and do not vary significantly with the changes in wastewater flow that is discharged by our customers for treatment. These fixed costs are primarily comprised of labor, regulatory monitoring and compliance, maintenance of an aging facility and 125 miles of sewer pipes, administration, insurance, and utilities (electricity and natural gas). These costs continue to increase every year due to more stringent regulatory requirements and other factors, including unfunded mandates (e.g., spending to meet regulatory requirements that do not receive state funding).
In order to continue to support the Authority's operations, the Authority instituted a customer service fee starting January 1, 2017, which is consistent with the high fixed cost nature of our business and the pricing models employed by other utilities. Please note that, in conjunction with the institution of the service fee, there has been no increase to the flow-based charges since January 2016.
The Service Fee for a residential property with a 5/8- or 3/4-inch-diameter water meter, or a residential customers with well water, will be $9.00 per quarter ($3/month). These service fees are common in other sewer authorities (Abington - ~$20/quarter, Warminster - $30/quarter, Conshohocken - $45/quarter, Bucks County Water and Sewer - $61/quarter), as well as other household utility services (PECO electric - ~$25/quarter, PECO gas - ~$35/quarter). The Service Fees for larger-diameter water meters will be more, due to their greater impact on our operations. A list of Service Fees for different water meter sizes starting January 1, 2017 is listed below.
Please note that all properties with well water (fixture rate or "blue card" accounts) will be invoiced at the 3/4-inch-diameter residential water meter rate - $9.00 per quarter. Properties with multiple water meters on one account, properties with low-volume water use and vacant properties may have their water meter size reclassified to match their water usage.
The Authority's plant and personnel services the community 24 hours per day, 365 days per year. The revision to our rate protocol detailed above will allow us to continue to service our ratepayers' needs, while investing in our plant and meeting ever increasing regulatory and environmental standards.