No fooling: Come April 1, it's going to become more expensive to flush a toilet in Hatboro.
According to a newsletter the Upper Moreland-Hatboro Joint Sewer Authority mailed to its more than 10,000 customers, the rates will increase from the current $4.80 per 1,000 gallons to $5.75 per 1,000 gallons. Fixture rates will be raised by 20 percent and commercial customers will see a jump from $6 per 1,000 gallons to $7.20 per 1,000 gallons.
Based on average quarterly sewer bills reflecting a 15,000 gallon usage, costs will increase by 20 percent, from the current of $72 to $86.25.
The impending rate hike is attributed to round-the-clock sewer authority operations, the cost of capital improvements and maintenance, as well as more stringent state and federal guidelines.
"In addition, two of our largest customers terminated or sharply reduced their water usage in 2011, resulting in a material reduction in our revenue going forward," according to the newsletter. "Because most of the costs associated with running the Authority are 'fixed' and not tied to the amount of flow to the plant, the loss of revenue contributes to a need to raise rates."
Even with the fee increase, data attributed to the Warminster Township Municipal Authority lists UMHJSA's rates as the 24th lowest of 29 in Bucks and Montgomery counties. By comparison, the newsletter lists the rates as costing $119.55 for the same average of 15,000 gallon.
UMHJSA raised its rates last April too, but not as sharply as the increase planned for 2012.