Philadelphia residential water bills will increase about 1 percent over the next two years, or only 69 cents a month, according to a plan announced Friday. The Philadelphia Water Department had requested an 11-percent rate boost over three years.
Under the 112-page ruling announced by the city water rate board, the monthly bill for a typical customer using 500 cubic feet of water a month (3,740 gallons) will decrease slightly from $66.50 to $66.33 in September and then increase to $67.19 in 2019.
The water department had requested an increase from $66.50 currently to $67.24 in September, to $70.60 in 2019 and to $73.79 in 2020.
The two-year plan should come as a relief for Philadelphia water customers, whose water rates have increased 70 percent since 2007.
The five-member Water, Sewer, and Storm Water Rate Board, which was created as an independent body by a 2012 Home Rule Charter change, rejected the city’s plan to shift $7.9 million in fire-hydrant costs from city taxpayers to water customers. The board ruled that under the city code, the city’s treasury, not water customers, is responsible for paying the water bills of city departments.