Aqua Ohio water customers, including residents served by Masury Water, will soon see an 8-percent increase in their water user fees now that the utility and the Ohio Public Utilities Commission have reached an agreement.

Aqua Water filed for the increase in June 2021 to cover ongoing operations and maintenance expenses and to recoup the cost of replacing and installing water lines, meters and hydrants and improving water treatment, Robert David, president of Aqua Ohio, testified before the PUCO.

The increase, approved Sept. 21, also will allow Aqua to boost its rate of return from about 5 percent to about 7.4 percent.

“Aqua Ohio filed this rate case, because the rates established in the previous case (2019) are no longer sufficient to support a reasonable return on the investment required to provide service,” Davis said. 

Rates will go up for many Aqua Ohio divisions, and for communities where it treats wastewater. Masury Water serves 1,426 customers in Brookfield and Hubbard townships, Davis said.

Aqua had asked for a 12-percent water rate hike. The per-gallon charge will go up from 0.00881 cents to 0.00948 cents.

The average residential user will see a $3 to $4 increase in the monthly bill, PUCO said.