Rates

What's with the Requested Rate Change? 9 Ways to Learn More, Get Involved

Customers, City Council, Mayor Kenney, and the Water Rate Board were recently informed that we need to raise rates. Increased rates will ensure we have the resources we need to better maintain one of the oldest water systems in the country.

As a part of the process—and to promote transparency—we are holding seven Public Input Hearings across the city. These hearings are held with the Water Rate Board, an independent body created by voters to oversee any rate changes. Any testimony made by residents will become part of the public record.

You can find a list of meeting locations, dates and times on the Rate Board site.

We encourage our customers to get involved in the process by attending a hearing and viewing our detailed breakdown of how rates could change and what they fund, available here.

Did you know? When we request a rate change, we must show that the increase is justified and needed. If the Rate Board thinks we didn’t show we truly need more revenue, they can lower the increase to an amount below what we requested or refuse to raise rates at all.

Where Your Bill Goes: Behind the Scenes
In addition to the Public Input Hearings, we will host two upcoming Water Open House events at two big facilities—the Baxter Water Treatment Plant on the Delaware River and the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant.

While not part of the official rate-setting process, these events are designed to show you what your water bill helps pay for. Because we are a not-for-profit, cost of service public utility, all the funds that make 24/7 access to clean water possible come from the monthly water bills sent to Philadelphia residents.

Every PWD employee lives in the city, too, and that means our paying customers include the nearly 2,000 people working to ensure our pipes and plants are doing their job, protecting our rivers and bringing top-quality water to homes and businesses around the clock.

The Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant event will take place on Saturday, April 14 and the Baxter event will take place on Saturday, April 21. In addition to the open houses, expert-guided tours will be offered at each plant. Space for the tours is limited, so RSVP now.

Not sure which one you want to see? The April 14 event will show you how we treat wastewater from homes and streets to protect our rivers; the April 21 event at Baxter will show you how we turn raw river water into top-quality tap that meets or beats state and federal quality standards. All Philly residents with a valid ID are welcome at both. 

Those who attend will get a behind the scenes look at everything needed to deliver safe water and protect our rivers.

Participants can also:

  • Hear from Commissioner Debra McCarty, the first woman to lead PWD in its 200-year history.
  • Talk to Water Revenue experts and learn how we help customers save.
  • Meet some of the nation’s most-trusted water quality scientists, plant operators and more.
  • Learn how our city is leading the way with Green City, Clean Waters, America’s first large-scale green stormwater infrastructure program.

RSVP now!

UPDATE: Three New Public Hearings on Discounted Stormwater Rate for Community Gardens Announced

Proposed changes to the current stormwater rates would provide discounts to community gardens that qualify under changes proposed by the City.
Changes to current stormwater rates would provide discounts to community gardens that qualify under regulations proposed by the City.

The first  public hearing on proposed stormwater rates changes for Philadelphia’s community gardens was held on Tuesday, October 25. Three additional hearings have been scheduled for the following dates:

Monday, November 14th, 2016
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m. 
Community Room at Villas Del CARIBE
167 W. Allegheny Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19140

Wednesday, November 16th, 2016
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Conversation Hall, Room 201
City Hall, Philadelphia, PA 19107

Friday, November 18th, 2016
10:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Fumo Branch of the Free Library
2437 S. Broad Street, Philadelphia, PA 19148

These presentations and hearings will be held to explain the proposed changes and gather input from residents. Transcripts  from the hearings will be available as part of the 2016 Rate Proceeding Hearing.

Read more about the hearings and how the changes would impact stormwater fees for gardens in the official Philadelphia Water Department announcement below:

Public Hearing: Give Input on Discounted Stormwater Rate for Community Gardens

Proposed changes to the current stormwater rates would provide discounts to community gardens that qualify under changes proposed by the City.
Changes to current stormwater rates would provide discounts to community gardens that qualify under regulations proposed by the City.

The first  public hearing on proposed stormwater rates changes for Philadelphia’s community gardens will take place on Tuesday, October 25:

PWD Presentation to Rate Board
And Public Input Hearing
Tuesday, October 25, 2016,
6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Pennsylvania Horticultural Society
100 N. 20th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103-1495 

The presentation and hearing will be held to explain the proposed changes and gather input from residents. Three additional hearings will be scheduled in the near future and will be advertised in area newspapers, posted on the department’s website, on the Watersheds Blog and our Facebook page.  

Read more about the event and how the changes would impact stormwater fees for gardens in the official Philadelphia Water Department announcement below:

Written Comments on Rate Change Due April 18!


Click the image for a full breakdown of the proposed rate change. Credit: Philadelphia Water 

The final Public Input Hearing for our proposed 2016-2017 rate increase was held at City Hall on April 7, 2016. If you were unable to attend one of the five public hearings, you can still submit comments by contacting the Philadelphia Water, Sewer, and Stormwater Rate Board, an independent board created by voters to set water rates.

Written comments must be submitted by April 18.

UPDATE: Final Public Input Hearing Announced for Proposed Rate Change


Philadelphia Water is requesting a rate increase that would go into effect July, 2016. Click the image for more info.

UPDATE:

A final Public Input Hearing for the proposed 2016-17 rate change will take place Thursday, April 7 at 8:30 a.m. in City Council Chambers at City Hall on the 4th Floor. You are encouraged to attend and submit testimony. If you are unable to attend, you can submit written comments until April 18.

For more information, visit the Water Rate Board website here.

Two-Year Rate Change Requested to Replace Water Mains, Sewers, Aging Infrastructure and More

Philadelphia Water crews replace a main in the Graduate Hospital area. Credit: Philadelphia Water.
Philadelphia Water crews replace a main in the Graduate Hospital area. Credit: Philadelphia Water.

Today, we notified City Council and the City’s independent Water Rate Board that Philadelphia Water needs to request a rate increase that would go into effect on July 1, 2016.

The increase we proposed amounts to 11.7 percent over a two-year period, and would raise the typical residential bill $8 per month by 2018. The chart below breaks down the changes a typical residential customer would see:

 

We know that no one likes to hear about rates going up. We don’t ask for a rate change unless we need it, and we want to make sure our customers have the all the facts.

DC Reminds Us: The 'Why' Behind Green City, Clean Waters

The Philadelphia skyline frames a stormwater-fighting green roof on the Free Library of Philadelphia. Our city is leading the way on green infrastructure. Credit: Philadelphia Water.
The Philadelphia skyline frames a stormwater-fighting green roof on the Free Library of Philadelphia. Our city is leading the way on green infrastructure. Credit: Philadelphia Water.

We couldn't help but notice all the buzz down in Washington this week as they made the case for green to residents and unveiled revised stormwater plans relying heavily on green infrastructure. We congratulate DC Water on a big step in the right the right direction! Their debut also reminded us of our Green City, Clean Waters rollout way back in 2011, and got us thinking about the "why" behind green infrastructure.

So, why Green City, Clean Waters?

After almost five years of putting green infrastructure into neighborhoods, the answer to that question is clearer than ever. In a nod to the DC Water plan, here are four reasons Green City, Clean Waters is better than just sticking with the old way of doing water infrastructure:

Now. Our green infrastructure is already providing water quality benefits. Green City, Clean Waters improvements allow Philadelphia to enjoy better water quality and environmental and social benefits right now. 

Better. In place since 2011, Green City, Clean Waters is creating environmental, social, and economic benefits that our neighborhoods would otherwise miss out on. Green infrastructure projects are increasing property values, beautifying neighborhoods, fighting extreme summer heat, creating natural habitats, enhancing public space and schools and even making neighborhoods safer.

Fairer. While other cities scramble for funds and end up saddling ratepayers with the burden of financing massive and outdated gray infrastructure projects, our 25-year Green City, Clean Waters plan is a cost-saving program that lets Philadelphia Water minimize rate increases and keep water affordable for all.   

Jobs. Green City, Clean Waters is fueling a green jobs economy in Philadelphia, creating high-value new jobs for residents and attracting smart workers and firms to our city. An ambitious and forward-thinking green infrastructure plan needs an ambitious and forward-thinking workforce to succeed, and we’re making that happen here right now.

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