UTC approves Washington Water Service rate increase of 9.6 percent

The state Utilities and Transportation Commission has approved a rate increase for Washington Water Service Company, which serves about 17,500 residential customers on 196 water systems in Clallam, Jefferson, King, Kitsap, Mason, Pierce, San Juan, and Thurston counties.

Starting Saturday, the average residential water customer using 854 cubic feet of water a month will pay $5.52 more, for an average monthly bill of $59.27.

In July the company requested to raise rates by $1.6 million (13.8 percent) because of increased operating costs. The company and commission staff reached an agreement, filed with the commission on Nov. 1, recommending a reduced rate increase of $1.14 million (9.6 percent).

Washington Water’s last general rate increase was in 2015.

The commission received 50 public comments on the rate increase, all of them opposed.

The UTC regulates private, investor-owned utilities in Washington. It is the commission’s responsibility to ensure regulated companies provide safe and reliable service to customers at reasonable rates.