On Aug. 28, Iowa American Water filed a request with the Iowa Utilities Board (IUB) to adjust its rates in the communities it serves across the state following an extensive examination of investments to provide safe, clean, and reliable water service.
The rate review includes almost $87 million in water system improvements in Clinton, Blue Grass, and the Iowa Quad Cities from October 2016 to June 2022. The IUB’s review of the company’s request is expected to take 10 months, so any new rates set by the IUB at the end of the process would not become effective until mid-2021, four years since the last increase.
“By continually improving our water systems, we help reduce the frequency of service interruptions, prevent property damage from water main breaks and enhance fire protection. We carefully plan and invest in our water systems to provide safe, clean, and reliable service to about 216,000 residents in eight eastern Iowa communities,” said Randy Moore, president of Iowa American Water. “These investments are key to our commitment to provide outstanding service and reliability, both now and for future generations.”
If the company’s proposed rates are approved as requested, the monthly water bill for a typical residential customer in its Clinton and Quad Cities districts using 4,000 gallons per month would be $42.70, an increase of $5.44 per month or about 18 cents a day.
The need to upgrade water systems is a national issue. The EPA’s 2015 Drinking Water Needs Assessment reported to Congress that Iowa drinking water systems have an estimated capital need of more than $7.8 billion over the next 20 years with the majority needed for the small and medium sized systems that dominate the state.
Investments in the rate review include the replacement of aging water pipelines and the upgrading of treatment plants, storage tanks, wells, and pumping stations across the state. Our customers rely on us to provide safe, reliable water service for quality of life, economic development, and fire protection. With more than 900 miles of water pipe serving our customers, we must continue to make these proactive investments to maintain and improve service.
In addition, Iowa American Water is continuing to respond to financial hardships the COVID-19 pandemic has caused for many of its customers by offering payment arrangements to customers who need assistance. Additionally, the company provides financial assistance to low-income, eligible customers through its H2O Help to Others Program™.