SC water company seeks 80% hike

Wednesday, April 20, 2011 3:46 PM
Last updated 4:32 PM
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Aiken County water and sewer customers of Carolina Water Service could see their water rates nearly double, if state regulators approve the provider's request for a rate increase.

The S.C Office of Regulatory Staff has received an application for an 80 percent water-rate increase and a 14 percent sewer-rate increase from Carolina Water Service, Inc.

Carolina Water Service has more than 7,600 water and 11,000 sewer customers in Aiken, Beaufort, Georgetown, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, Williamsburg and York counties.

For customers using an average of 7,000 gallons of water per month, the increase requested by CWS would result in a $35.94 full-service water bill rising to $65.30. A full-service sewer bill of $39.00 would grow to $44.32.

The ORS will file testimony in the case after completing an audit and examination of Carolina Water Service's financial records.

“There is no good time for a rate increase," said ORS Executive Director Dukes Scott in a statement. "In these still-fragile economic times, the impact of such a substantial increase must be carefully considered in light of all aspects of the public interest that we are charged to represent.”

ORS represents the public interest and acts as a party of record in proceedings before the S.C. Public Service Commission.

The company's application, submitted by attorney Scott Elliott, a former Public Service Commission member, says the rate increase is intended to help the company upgrade its infrastructure and "enable it to earn a reasonable return on its investment and to attract capital for future improvements."

In addition to Aiken County, Carolina Water Service has customers in Beaufort, Georgetown, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, Sumter, Williamsburg, and York counties.

The rate increase is not a done deal. Members of the public may speak up by getting involved in the process and attend hearings.

Reach Sarita Chourey at sarita.chourey@morris.com or (803) 727-4257

For specific questions, call the ORS Consumer Services Department toll-free at 1-800-922-1531 or, within the Columbia area, at 803-737-5230.

Comments (2) Add comment
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curly123053
4559
Points
curly123053 04/20/11 - 05:02 pm
0
0
We will see how many people

We will see how many people sit on their hands during this phase of the deal. When nobody steps forward to fight the increase and it passes without opposition, people will be crying foul and raising cain when they get that 1st bill. Wake up people and make your voices heard during this phase of the rate increase.

KSL
126404
Points
KSL 04/20/11 - 06:13 pm
0
0
I withhold judgment until I

I withhold judgment until I know more of the facts. For instance, when was their last increase in rates? Are they facing capital improvements that are necessary to be done in order to meet compliance with regulations?

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