Illinois American Water rate adjustment approved by Illinois
bill for Lincoln District customer using 4,500 gallons per month
expected to increase approximately 13 cents per day, or $3.99 per
Send a link to a friend
[September 24, 2012]
Following a comprehensive, 11-month
review process that included opportunities for public comment, the
Illinois Commerce Commission issued a final order in Illinois
American Water's rate case filed on Oct. 27, 2011. The new rates
resulting from the order are expected to take effect Oct. 1, 2012.
Illinois American Water cannot increase rates without ICC approval.
Pending final approval from the ICC staff, the company estimates
that a residential customer in the company's Lincoln District using
4,500 gallons of water per month will pay about 13 cents more per
day, or $3.99 more per month. The monthly bill will be approximately
$35.74 (excludes fire protection charges, municipal taxes and
franchise fees, which vary by community). Customers will continue to
receive quality, reliable water service for about a penny per
Illinois American Water's ongoing enhancement and maintenance of
infrastructure to ensure reliable water and wastewater treatment and
delivery systems are the main drivers behind the rate change. The
new rates reflect approximately $180 million in infrastructure
investment statewide, and approximately $3.1 million in the Lincoln
District, not reflected in base rates prior to this rate order.
According to David Schonauer, operations superintendent for
Illinois American Water's Lincoln District, the $3.1 million in
investments includes replacing and installing fire hydrants, valves,
meters and more than 2,500 feet of water main. Upgrades made in the
water treatment and delivery systems enhance water quality, water
pressure and fire protection. Construction of a new pumping station
at the south water treatment plant ensures reliability to customers.
The pumping station uses energy-saving technology through the
installation of variable frequency drive motors, which ensure motors
are operated based on current pumping demands. This VFD equipment
ensures improved motor operational efficiencies when supplying the
current pumping demands.
"Upgrades made in the water treatment and delivery systems
enhance water quality, service reliability and fire protection for
customers," said Schonauer.
Many communities are facing the challenges of aging water systems
and associated rate increases. The U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency says the nation's water utilities will need to make more than
$335 billion in infrastructure investments -- $15 billion in
Illinois -- over the next 20 years to replace thousands of miles of
pipe and for upgrades to treatment plants, storage tanks and other
assets to ensure public health. Illinois American Water makes
necessary improvements and prudent investments when needed.
"Water is a critical part of everyday life and a strong economy,"
said Schonauer. "We work with communities we serve to make sure we
are providing high-quality water service that meets their needs and,
at the same time, controlling our costs wherever possible."
[to top of second column]
Illinois American Water has worked to control costs while
providing customers with good service. More than 90 percent of
customers report they are satisfied or extremely satisfied with
service provided by Illinois American Water.
Illinois American Water's rates are based on the true cost of
providing water and wastewater service, as reviewed by the ICC.
While many municipally owned water systems are able to cover costs
with taxes, fees and other revenue sources as a way to keep water
bills lower, investor-owned, regulated water utilities are required
to recover all costs through water rates charged on the customer's
The company's last base rate increase occurred in April 2010.
Customers will receive information further explaining the rate
Customers needing assistance paying their water bills can access
the company's H2O Help to Others program. The Salvation Army
administers this program. Customers are urged to contact their local
Salvation Army if they need assistance. Information on the
program is also available at
Illinois American Water, a subsidiary of American Water (NYSE:
AWK), is the largest investor-owned water utility in the state,
providing high-quality and reliable water or wastewater services to
more than 1.2 million people. American Water also operates a
customer service center in Alton and a quality control and research
laboratory in Belleville.
[Text from file received from
Illinois American Water]