SPRINGFIELD, Pa. (CBS) — The cost of water and sewer service is going up dramatically in one part of the region. That’s on top of the inflationary pressures we are all feeling at the kitchen table and at the gas pump.
It seems new rate increases for Aqua Water customers were phased in recently, leaving some stunned.READ MORE: Several People Injured After Tree Falls On Top Of Them In Fairmount Park Near Mann Center In West Philly
Suddenly that flush or run of the tap is costing more in the Philadelphia suburbs. Some customers reported a jolt when opening their Aqua bills in the last few weeks.
“It’s only my wife and I. Usually around maybe $35, $40. I think the last one I saw was $55,” Springfield resident Bob Clancy said.
The Pennsylvania Utility Commission in May approved rate increases. The utility provides service to nearly half a million customers.
It projected average costs for a household would increase by 12%. Wastewater service for a smaller fraction would see a 59% jump.
“Both of my neighbors’ doubled and people were saying on Facebook that there’s had gone up substantially,” Angela Urso said.
Urso did a double-take at her July bill. While conceding her water usage appeared unusually high, she never expected her bill to balloon this much.READ MORE: Philadelphia Weather: Week Starts With Muggy Conditions Before Cold Front Arrives
“So when I open that bill, I originally thought that maybe they had not gotten my last month’s payment or something because our water bill usually averages around $100,” Urso said.
Her bill was $216. Other bills reviewed by Eyewitness News show 50% and 60% increases for some customers since May.
Responding to requests for comment, an Aqua spokesperson said those rate increases would offset more than a billion dollars in upgrades to distribution and treatment systems.
Sally Hale from Springfield said while her water usage is up this time of year her bill has been flat.
“It kind of was comparable to what it is in the summer because I do water my plants a lot,” Hale said.
Urso is furious but wonders what if anything she can do.
“I honestly don’t know what to do at this point. I can’t not pay my water bill, we can’t not have water,” Urso said.MORE NEWS: Senate Passes Democrats' Sweeping Health Care And Climate Bill
An Aqua spokesperson says if any customers would like to request to have their bill reviewed they are able to call customer service representatives at 877-987-2782.