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New Treatment Plant Leads To Water Rate Hike For West View Customers

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) -- The sound of water pumps pumping up to 40 million gallons of water a day from the Ohio River into the treatment tanks of the West View Water Authority is distinctive.

Water from the Authority's Neville Island plant services 32 municipalities in Allegheny, Beaver, and Butler counties, and the cost of that water is about to jump.

"The first increase that we are proposing is a 26 percent increase," JR Henry, vice chair of the Authority, told KDKA money editor Jon Delano on Friday.

"But I should note that although nobody likes to raise rates, we are still in the lower one-third of all the other water suppliers in the region."

That's an increase of about $7 a month for the average customer using 15,000 gallons of water a quarter.

Authority officials say the money is needed to pay for an $88 million capital expansion project.

This water treatment plant was built 45 years ago on the Ohio River and has really become insufficient to provide all the water that customers need in the years to come.

So the West View Water Authority is going to build another facility in Beaver County which, together with the Neville Island one, should be able to satisfy everyone's water needs through the 21st century.

"Downstream on the Ohio River in Economy Borough in Beaver County, we're going to be constructing a new treatment plant that can pump up to 15 million gallons a day with the ability to expand that to 30 million gallons a day," said Henry.

Henry says construction of a new water treatment plant is expected to be among the top ten public works projects in the region with completion in 2018.

Delano: "Will there be additional rate increases in the years to come?"

Henry: "Well, I don't think we can guarantee there won't be additional rate increases two or three years down the road."

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