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Missouri American Water announces rate hikes to pay for new water mains

ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. - Some Missouri American Water customers might be experiencing an issue with odor and taste, but that’s not the only matter they may be unhappy with.

Brian Russell, a spokesman for MAW, said some St. Louis-area customers reported a weird odor and taste in their tap water. He’s advising customers not to worry.

“It might not taste right or smell right,” he said. “I can assure you, it’s perfectly fine.”

The latest complaints are all about the weather.

“The hot weather hit us quickly and the water we store in towers, it sits there,” he said. “Like leaving a bottle of water in car on hot day, when you drink it, it doesn’t taste as good.”

Russell said complaints only came in over the weekend and it’s not an issue anymore. However, he offers this advice if it ever happens to you.

“If you take a glass of water and it doesn’t smell right, put it in fridge for a few minutes and it will go away and taste perfectly fine,” he said.

Missouri American Water also announced a 17 percent price hike in St. Louis County and an 11 percent hike in St. Charles County to pay for new water mains to prevent breaks in the system.

“We set a company record in January with more than 1,200 water main breaks,” Russell said. “The old record was 999, so we went pretty far above that.”

MAW was in the process of replacing a water main in Ballwin and they will continue to first replace infrastructure where breaks have occurred.

“We had 4,400 miles of water main in St. Louis County,” Russell said. “If all 4,400 miles of water main were new, we probably would have had no main breaks.”

Last week, the company placed third in a Midwest customer satisfaction survey conducted by J.D. Power and Associates.

Statement from Missouri-American Water:

ST. LOUIS, MO. (May 15, 2018) –The Missouri Public Service Commission (MoPSC) today approved new

water and sewer rates for Missouri American Water customers to take effect May 28, 2018.

Customers in St. Louis County using 15,000 gallons per quarter will see a new quarterly bill of $98.72 plus taxes and fees. This is a 16.9 percent increase, or $14.27 per quarter (less than $5.00 per month).

 

Under the new rate structure, St. Louis County customers will pay rates that are different from customers across the rest of Missouri American Water’s service territory, including customers in St. Charles County.

 

Customers in St. Charles County using 5,000 gallons per month will see an increase of $4.21 per month for a total monthly bill of $40.23 plus taxes and fees. This is an 11.7 percent increase.

 

The rate request was in response to approximately $207 million of infrastructure investments made by

Missouri American Water throughout its Missouri service areas Replacement Surcharge (“ISRS”) investments.

 

The approved rates reflect savings of $18 million for our customers due to the enactment of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (the “TCJA”).

 

More than $150 million in improvements were made to Missouri American Water operations in St. Louis and St. Charles counties since 2016.

 

The last change in base rates for water service and wastewater treatment occurred in 2016.

 

As part of the rate order, the MoPSC consolidated water districts from the current three districts to two.

The first district will include all customers in St. Louis County, and the second district will include all other Missouri water customers.

 

Sewer customers remain in the two districts created in the last rate case: Arnold Sewer and Other Missouri.

 

For customers in the Other Missouri district, all residential sewer customers are being moved to a flat monthly rate, and there are now only two rate schedules, which depend on the service area location.

 

Missouri American Water’s rates are based on the costs of providing water and sewer service as reviewed and approved by the MoPSC.