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Pittsburgh Water & Sewer Authority Proposes Rate Hike

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(Credit: KDKA)

(Credit: KDKA)

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PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — It’s no secret that Pittsburgh’s water lines have seen better days.

There are dozens of main line breaks in the antiquated system which waste millions of gallons of water each year.

In addition, for years, some residents have complained of flooded basements after each storm because catch basins are clogged and the sewer system can’t handle the overflow.

And they say there are other problems.

“We’ve also had issues with them doing work and not notifying us, and we got a lot of dirt coming through our lines,” Wes Croker said.

The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority wants to raise rates about two percent on top of a five percent increase last year.

That means the water bill of an average customer will go from $42.97 a month last year to about $49.12 a month next year.

“I guess my reaction would be if they’re going to increase rates, I’d like to see a little more service,” Croker said.

Pittsburgh Water’s financial situation isn’t unique. Other water companies in western Pennsylvania have raised rates recently.

Pittsburgh’s been in the spotlight though because its storm water system failed to handle flood waters on Washington Boulevard last August.

Four people died when the water reached nine feet deep on the road. For that reason, some customers say they’d accept the rate increase without protest.

The rate increase will be part of the water authority’s budget, which must be passed by the end of the year.

The rate increase would be approved when the PWSA approves its budget. It’s supposed to hold a special meeting next Friday to do that.

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