Home Island Life Many Island Residents to See Water Rate Increase

Many Island Residents to See Water Rate Increase

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The Ortley Beach water tower. (Photo: Daniel Nee)
The Ortley Beach water tower. (Photo: Daniel Nee)

Customers of New Jersey American Water will see a rate increase beginning next month, the company announced.

The company will introduce a 12 percent increase, according to a letter sent to customers, which will amount to an approximate increase of $5.90 per month for a customers who uses 6,000 gallons of water.

The rate hike is temporary until approved by the state Board of Public Utilities. In filings before the board, NJAW said the increase will go toward more than $800 million in system upgrades. If a lower rate increase than the one NJAW sought is approved by the board, customers will be credited the difference that they had paid over the interim time period.

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Numerous island communities utilize New Jersey American, a frequent bone of contention on the part of residents since its rates are often markedly higher than the dominant publicly-owned island water utilities. The company previously acquired a 99-year lease on the island’s water mains in Bay Head, Mantoloking, Brick and Toms River, and operates on a few blocks in Lavallette. The bulk of Lavallette, as well as Seaside Heights and Seaside Park, have their own water-sewer utilities. The Brick Township Municipal Utilities Authority and Toms River MUA handle sewerage for their respective communities. The BTMUA also handles sewerage in some northern island communities.