Veolia on Thursday filed a $43 million infrastructure plan with the Delaware Public Service Commission.
If the commission grants the request in full, the average residential water bill for Veolia customers in New Castle County would go up $4.51 per month.
With additional infrastructure investments on the horizon, the company, which serves more than 100,000 Delawareans, has also proposed a surcharge of $5 per month.
What Veolia’s plan includes
Water mains, service lines, hydrants and meters: Over $30 million to replace and install new water mains, customer service lines and other infrastructure that will improve reliability, safety and billing accuracy.
Storage and distribution:Over $7 million for additional water storage and rehabilitation and replacement of reservoirs and tanks in the distribution system.
Water supply and plant upgrades: $6 million in plant and pumping upgrades to the Stanton Water Treatment Plant.
The plan includes improvements that began in 2020 and are expected to amount to approximately $43 million by the end of 2023.
The company chose the announcement of its plan (and the rate increase and surcharge) to highlight its programs to accommodate financially challenged customers and improve the community.
By the end of 2022, the company forgave nearly $10 million in water bills for eligible customers across the country, including $1.3 million in Delaware. Customers who need assistance should call Veolia at 800-668-0856.
“We must do our part to help those who need it most,” Karine Rouge, CEO of Veolia North America’s Municipal Water division, said in a statement.
The company has pledged $100,000 over a three-year period that began in 2022 to help the environment, educate future generations and provide financial assistance to Delawareans who qualify. It offered the programs as samples:
Brandywine Red Clay Alliance: $25,000 for water conservation projects, outreach, education programs, and the Annual Red Clay Valley cleanup.
White Clay Creek Watershed Association: $25,000 for outreach, education, the Aannual White Clay CreekFest and technical assistance to improve water quality.
Delaware Nature Society: $20,000 for the the Reaching and Engaging through Nature to Empower Wilmington program to provide STEM education to underserved students in Wilmington.
Social service agency partnerships: Commitment to advancing financial assistance programs through prominent social service organizations, including $20,000 to Catholic Charities and the Salvation Army.
Veolia recently merged with Suez, another French water company, and part of the deal called for a moratorium on increases on its base rates. The moratorium ended in January.
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