Birmingham Utilities Inc. files for water service rate increase

Birmingham Utilities Inc. announced it has filed an application with the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control requesting a $1,576,000 increase in water service rates.

Feb 11th, 2003

ANSONIA, Conn., Feb. 11, 2003 -- Birmingham Utilities Inc. announced it has filed an application with the Connecticut Department of Public Utility Control requesting a $1,576,000 increase in water service rates.

The proposed increase of 34.55% will have the effect of increasing the average residential customers water bill by about 29 cents per day, or $26.92 per quarter. The average customer uses approximately 18,000 gallons of water per quarter. Under the proposed increase, water would cost about 6 tenths of one cent per gallon.

John S. Tomac, company president, said that over 76% of the requested increase is directly due to the company's plant improvement program.

Tomac noted that since 1997 the company has spent over $8,000,000 on these improvements, including the replacement of over 29,000 feet of small 4 and 6 inch water mains.

"In most cases these mains were installed around 1900, and have reached the end of their useful capacity," Tomac said. "We have also made improvements to our treatment facilities at our two major sources of supply. These improvements will replace old facilities and will add another degree of safety to an already very safe product."

He noted that customers can expect improved water quality and increased pressure in many areas of our system. These improvements will also ensure the viability of the water system for generations while providing increased capacity for fire protection.

The improvements in fire service were evident during the Latex Foam fire in May of 2001. The company was able to deliver over 5 million gallons of water to fight that fire. Tomac said that this would not have happened if the utility did not begin to upgrade its infrastructure.

"We can now move water more efficiently and freely throughout our system, which in the long-term will be best for the customer," Tomac said.

Birmingham Utilities, Inc., a subsidiary of BIW Limited, is a public water service company that serves approximately 32,000 people in the cities of Ansonia, Derby and in parts of the town of Seymour.

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