The Allegheny County Sanitary Authority (ALCOSAN) has released its 2010 sewage rate structure which includes an increase to fund federally mandated projects and daily operating costs.
Beginning January 1, 2010, the ALCOSAN sewer rate will increase seven percent from $3.77 per 1,000 gallons of water used to $4.04 and the quarterly customer service charge will increase from $7.92 to $8.48. A homeowner using 18,000 gallons of water per quarter will see an increase of only $1.81 per month.
The ALCOSAN Board of Directors approved the increase attributing it to the cost of meeting federal mandates outlined in a consent decree to address sewage overflows into area waterways as well as operating the 250 million gallon a day sewage treatment plant and 95 miles of interceptor lines.
"The issue of a rate increase is never taken lightly," said the ALCOSAN Chairman Harry Readshaw. "As unpleasant as it is for us, we realize our fiduciary responsibilities not only to the operational end, but also in meeting the mandates of the Consent Decree without incurring penalties."
ALCOSAN interceptor maintenance costs continue to increase due to inspection and cleaning segments of ALCOSAN's 95 miles of interceptor sewer lines as well as the addition of technical staff to address consent decree requirements and compliance. Commodities such as natural gas, fuel, electricity and chemicals to operate the 56 acre treatment plant and pump stations are slated to increase as well.
Consumers should also be aware that 78 of the 83 communities ALCOSAN serves place an additional charge on the ALCOSAN rates with proceeds earmarked for community owned sewer line repair, replacement and maintenance.