On January 21, 2022, the Philadelphia Water Department filed Advance Notices of a Special Rate Proceeding regarding the reconciliation and potential downward adjustment of water, sewer and stormwater rates and charges approved in the 2021 Rate Proceeding, as well as its annual Tiered Assistance Program Rate Rider Surcharge rates (TAP-R) Adjustment Proceeding.

The rates PWD charges our customers are determined through a transparent process of public hearings by the Philadelphia Water, Sewer, and Storm Water Rate Board.

Effective September 1, 2021

Rate Request to be Lowered Through Proposed Settlement

In January 2021, the Philadelphia Water Department (PWD or the Department) filed its original rate request with the Water Rate Board (Rate Board) for $141 million in additional revenues for Fiscal Years (FYs) 2022 and 2023. The Department engaged in conversations to try and achieve a settlement of some or all of the issues in this case. The Department and the Public Advocate reached agreement on a carefully negotiated package including reasonable compromises as to the majority of issues presented in the case.

As a result of their negotiation, the Public Advocate and PWD reached a proposed settlement in April 2021. If approved by the Rate Board, this change will not eliminate the need for a rate increase. It will, however, help reduce the scale of the needed increases at this time. This means the anticipated rate increases for Fiscal Years 2022 and 2023 will be lower than originally proposed. The table below shows the additional revenues proposed in the settlement for FY2022 and FY2023.

FY 2022FY 2023Total
Additional Revenues Proposed in Settlement
(dollars in ‘000s)

Read an overview of the settlement agreement or visit the Water Rate Board’s website for more information.

Read the full Settlement Term Sheet

2021 Rate Proceeding

On February 16, 2021, the Philadelphia Water Department filed with the Records Department the Water Department’s Formal Notice of proposed changes in water, sewer, and stormwater rates and related charges to take effect on or about September 1, 2021 and September 1, 2022.

If the Department’s request is approved, the total monthly bill for a residential customer using 5 hundred cubic feet (“ccf”) of water per month would increase by 11.6% on September 1, 2021 and an additional 5.3% on September 1, 2022. Non-residential increases vary widely based on meter size, the amount of water consumed and the gross and impervious areas of each parcel. A sample monthly bill for a small business customer with a 5/8 inch meter and using 6 ccf of water per month and having a 5,500 square foot lot with 4,000 square feet of impervious area will increase by 7.2% on September 1, 2021 and an additional 5.7% on September 1, 2022. Examples of changes in customer bills are shown below:

Customer TypeCurrent Typical Monthly BillProposed Monthly Bill (Sept. 1, 2021)Proposed Monthly Bill (Sept 1, 2022)
Residential (5/8″ meter, 500 cubic feet)$66.73$74.47$78.45
Senior Citizen with Discount (5/8″ meter, 300 cubic feet)$38.43$42.94$45.13
Non-Residential (5/8″ meter, 600 cubic feet)$112.13$120.24$127.03
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