Suez seeks water  rate increase

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Suez is seeking a rate increase from customers as it seeks to continuea $60 million investment program that began in 2016 in its Delaware water operations.

Suez, once known as United Water, serves a large portion of northern New Castle County.

The program includes completed, ongoing and future investments that improve the customer experience, water quality, and service reliability for over 38,000 homes, businesses, and industrial operations.

“As part of our continued commitment to improving the customer experience, we have tripled our investment in new water infrastructure in Delaware in recent years,” said Larry Finnicum, operations director, Delaware Operations. “These investments help ensure that our customers receive exceptional water service and quality for years to come.”

If granted, the $60 million plan filed with the Delaware Public Service Commission Friday would increase by about $7.50 a month.

Finnicum stated, “If the commission accepts the proposal in whole, Suez rates in Delaware will still remain significantly lower than the other major water utilities in the State. Our goal is to make investments that benefit our customers while remaining sensitive to their budgets.” The commission has up to 7 months to accept, reject or modify the plan.”

Suez gets its supplies from surface water, which is less expensive to extract and process than well water.

New Investments from Suez

  • Residents served by some of the oldest pipes in the Delaware system will benefit from a $26 million investment to replace 61,000 feet of water mains. These areas include Ashbourne Hills, Radnor Green and the Belleview Business Park, which has companies that employ up to 2,000.
  • SUEZ has invested nearly $20 million in the Stanton Water Treatment Plant, the heart of the water system in the company’s Delaware operations. The project adds four million gallons of treated water storage on site – a five-fold increase- and a 6,000 square foot pumping facility that can deliver up to 24 million gallons of drinking water daily. This ensures the reliability of supply and maximizes water safety through enhanced disinfection. New, “green” pumps will decrease the plant’s carbon footprint by the equivalent of removing 120 cars from the road every day.
  • Construction is underway for the first new water storage tank to serve 15,000 SUEZ customers in north Wilmington in 50 years. The $3.2 million, three million gallon ground storage tank will help meet needs for water supply and pressure.
  • The 544 miles of pipes that deliver water to customers in Delaware every day rely on pumping equipment located throughout the system.
  • The installation of a $1.4 million state-of-the-art meter reading system, called Advanced Metering Infrastructure (AMI), will lead to hourly updates on water consumption and help customers better manage their water bills.

Finnicum added, “Not only do these strategic investments help improve quality of life for our customers, they align directly with leading state policymakers’ actions to strengthen the economy by investing in infrastructure.”

Suez noted that it spends$1.5 million on local goods and services each year, and the company contributes over $1.7 million in annual school, property and other local taxes.

Suez offers assistance to customers who may need help paying their water bills at suezcares.org or by dialing 1-800-668-0856.

Suez North America operates across all 50 states and Canada with 2,825 employees. It manages $4.1 billion in total assets. The company posted revenues of $1.1 billion in 2018 and is a subsidiary of Paris-based Suez.

The company employs 90,000 on the five continents, Suez generated total revenues of $19.36 billion in 2018.

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