Pearl River Valley Water Supply District raises water, sewer rates

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RANKIN COUNTY, Miss. (WJTV) – On Thursday, the Pearl River Valley Water Supply District (PRVWSD) Board of Directors approved a rate increase for its water and sewer customers, which will be effective for the October 2021 billing cycle.

PRVWSD General Manager John Sigman said the rate increase will help offset the higher costs the state agency is paying its regional sewer providers.

“We are looking at an 80 percent increase in what we pay to the West Rankin Utility Authority, which just built a $150 million wastewater treatment plant that is scheduled to go online in October,” Sigman said. “That’s in addition to past increases by both the Madison County Wastewater Authority and the East Madison County Sewage Disposal System. The agency has absorbed those increases in Madison County without increasing rates to our customers, but we can no longer afford to continue absorbing those costs if we are to maintain a fund to repair and replace infrastructure, some of which is 50 years old.”

While PRVWSD supplies neighbors with water from its own wells, all sewage is sent to regional providers to be processed. Prior to the new wastewater facility opening in Rankin County, all of the sewage has been sent by Rankin County and south Madison County to be processed at Jackson’s Savannah Street facility. In October, the Rankin County sewage will be carried to the new facility.

PRVWSD’s last water/sewage rate increase was passed six years ago with built-in annual escalations that ended in 2020.

According to officials, the new increase will average out to about 20 percent per customer, mostly through a new line item on the monthly bill called a Regional Sewage Charge (RSC). PRVWSD’s RSC for FY 2022 is based on a $2.25 fee per 1,000 gallons of water used.

Under the new PRVWSD rates, a customer who uses 6,000 gallons of water per month currently pays $68.40 per month for water and sewer. Beginning in October, that same customer would receive a bill for $82.50, an increase of $14.10.

Sigman said that there will be small increases in both the water (5 cents per 1,000 gallons) and sewer (15 cents per 1,000 gallons) volumetric charges, a fee charged only to those customers using over 3,000 gallons of water a month.

The current water volumetric rate is $5.45 per 1,000 gallons, which will increase to $5.50 per 1,000. The current sewer volumetric rate is $7.35 per 1,000 gallons and will increase to $7.50 per 1,000 gallons.

Sigman said that nearly half of PRVWSD’s customers will see only the increase created by the regional sewage charge.

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