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Capital Region Water raising water, sewer bills in 2019

Capital Region Water is raising water and sewer rates for Harrisburg and the surrounding area to help cover ongoing capital improvement costs.

The Harrisburg-based municipal authority — which oversees drinking water, wastewater and stormwater systems — this week passed a 2019 budget that includes a 2 percent increase in water costs for all city and suburban customers. Sewer rates, meanwhile, will vary between the city and suburbs, though all will go up in 2019.

With the increase, water customers will pay $9.65 per 1,000 gallons of water. 

The average residential customer uses 4,500 gallons per month, and will pay $1 more in total for water, or about $51.04 per month.

Sewer rates in the capital city will go up 9.5 percent to $7.65 per 1,000 gallons. The average user will pay $34.44 per month, or $2.98 more per month.

For water and sewer combined, the average user’s total bill in Harrisburg will rise $3.98 per month.

Capital Region Water also will raise its ready-to-serve fee by 2 percent, a flat monthly fee that covers some of the fixed costs in the system. The feel will rise to $7.62 per month from $7.47 for the average customer with a 5/8-inch service line.

Sewer rates in 2019 will vary for suburban customers, depending on their location, officials said. For example, Steelton customers will pay $3.08 per 1,000 gallons, up 6.6 percent. Other suburban municipalities will see their rate increase to $4.39 per month, up 1.3 percent.

Officials said the new budget will help cover necessary improvements to the drinking water system in 2019, including lining a major water main on Cameron Street, replacing several aging water mains and an evaluation of the DeHart Dam spillway.

Capital improvements to the wastewater system will include updating treatment systems at the Advanced Wastewater Treatment Facility and repairs to major interceptor sewers along Paxton Creek and the Susquehanna River. Capital Region Water recently closed on an $11 million low interest loan from PENNVEST to rehabilitate the Front Street Pump Station in 2019.

Capital Region Water serves customers in Harrisburg, Paxtang, Penbrook, Steelton and the townships of Lower Paxton, Susquehanna and Swatara.

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