The price of water is going up in two Maryland counties, and we’re not talking about the bottled type.
The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission is proposing a rate hike to help pay for the cost of repairing and replacing water and sewer lines. Prince George's and Montgomery counties have seen several huge water main breaks in the past few years.
WSSC officials said rate increases are likely for the next 10 years.
"Day in and day out, our water comes out of the tap and it goes down the toilet, and by and large it happens every day," said Jim Neustadt of WSSC. "People take that for granted, and it's something that doesn't happen automatically, and we work hard to do it, but it doesn't come for free either. "
The company said it is still trying to catch up on a maintenance backlog on its aging infrastructure. It's hard to say how much each resident's water and sewer bill would increase. Proposed rates will change each year, starting at about 13 percent and then steadily decreasing to about 6 percent.
The utility company said the rate hikes are in line with the national trend, and will also help pay for its legal and regulatory requirements.
For a period of six years WSSC did not raise rates. The utility company has 1.8 million customers in both counties.