published on December 16, 2016 - 7:23 AM
Written by The Business Journal Staff

Water rates are set to rise in Selma and Visalia over the next three years to fund infrastructure improvements.

Yesterday the California Public Utilities Commission issued its decision on California Water Service’s most recent operations review, required every three years. The rate hikes take effect Jan. 1, 2017.

In Visalia, typical residential customers using 14,212 gallons per month will first see a 3-cent decrease in their monthly water bill next year, then increases of 51 cents in 2018 and 94 cents in 2019.

The average American family of four uses around 12,000 gallons in a month, according to the Environmental Protection Agency.

In Selma, typical residential consumers using 16,456 gallons in a month will see increases of $5.70 next year, 4 cents in 2018 and 27 cents in 2019.

According to Cal Water, upcoming improvements to water infrastructure in Visalia include replacement of 19,341 feet of aging and high-risk water main, replacement of aging meters as well as hardware and software upgrades for monitoring and controlling the water system.

Improvements in Selma include replacement of hardware and software upgrades for the water system and conversion of remaining flat-rate service connections to metered service to comply with state law.

The commission’s decision comes after an 18-month review of Cal Water’s operations and books. The next required review of rates will be filed in July 2018.

The commission also approved a one-year surcharge for Visalia and Selma customers to recover drought expenses from 2014-15. It roughly amounts to 2 cents per 784 gallons used.

Cal Water serves about 43,100 connections in Visalia and 6,300 in Selma.

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