The Register-Herald, Beckley, West Virginia

Latest News

November 5, 2013

Fayetteville sees increase in water and sewer bills

FAYETTEVILLE — Statewide customers of West Virginia American Water will be parting with a little bit more cash this month when their water bill comes in the mail — 6.7 percent more cash, to be exact.

Residents of Fayetteville, on the other hand, will notice two rate increases slipped into their mailboxes. Like the rest of West Virginia American’s customers, they will notice the same water hike. But on top of that, Fayetteville residents connected to the public sewer system will see a 14 percent rate increase on their sewer bill.

The rate change, which went into effect Oct. 11, increased the average monthly Fayetteville residential sewer bill 14 percent from $35.78 to  $40.92.

Approximately 1,100 households connected to Fayetteville’s public sewer system are affected by the hike, which will help offset costs invested by West Virginia American Water into upgrading the town’s antiquated sewer system to be compliant with West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection requirements.

This rate increase represents the first wastewater rate increase since West Virginia American acquired the Town of Fayetteville’s wastewater system in 2008.

By the end of 2013, West Virginia American will have made investments totaling $1.36 million in the Fayetteville wastewater system over its five-year span of ownership. Among 1,100 households, the firm’s investments averaged to be more than $1,200 in sewer system improvements per customer.

“Many of these improvements were upgrades necessary to modernize the Town of Fayetteville’s wastewater operations and to comply with applicable environmental laws and regulations. Others have been necessary to maintain service levels and the system’s overall operations,” said Laura Jordan, external affairs manager for W.Va. American Water.

While the improvements have come at a high cost, Jordan explained that they were necessary to bring the system’s operations up to today’s standards.

“In 2011, then-acting Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin and the WVDEP honored West Virginia American Water’s environmental stewardship with recognition of Fayetteville as one of the most improved wastewater treatment plants in the state,” Jordan said.

While some members of other communities have become concerned that the sewer system investments in Fayetteville have impacted their household water bill, Jordan assures there is no connection.

“Investments in Fayetteville sewer system upgrades have no bearing on any rate increases outside of Fayetteville,” Jordan said.

The 6.7 percent water increase statewide was related to the approximately $85 million of system improvements the company has made to general facilities and infrastructure across the state since 2009, Jordan explained.

West Virginia American Water made investments in upgrades to the water distribution system, water treatment facilities, storage tanks, pumping stations and computer systems.

In a press release, West Virginia American President Jeff McIntyre stated, “These prudent investments were necessary to enhance customer service and maintain water quality, service reliability and fire protection for approximately one-third of the state’s population that we serve.”

The good news is that the company agreed not to file another general rate case for water or wastewater prior to Jan. 1, 2015, so customers can be assured that their current rate will be static until well into 2015.

- - -

In an effort to lessen the impact of rate increases for customers struggling to make ends meet, West Virginia American launched a program in May that provides a 20 percent discount on residential water rates for certain low-income households.

The  company also offers utility assistance through its shareholders’ support of the Dollar Energy Fund, which provides one-time grants to eligible customers.

To learn more about these programs, visit www .westvirginiaamwater .com.

— E-mail:

Text Only
Latest News
  • Sunflower 1 Unique sunflower

    July 28, 2014 2 Photos

  • How much will annexation cost?

    City of Beckley officials say annexation would provide many benefits to outlying residents, but exactly how much would annexation cost?

    July 28, 2014

  • Not in my backyard: U.S. sending fossil fuel abroad

    As the Obama administration weans the U.S. off dirty fuels blamed for global warming, energy companies have been sending more of America’s unwanted energy leftovers to other parts of the world where they could create even more pollution.

    July 28, 2014

  • Greenbrier PSD officials worried about State Fair tunnel project

    Plans to raise a section of U.S. 219 and construct a tunnel underneath for the passage of State Fair pedestrians provided a hot topic for discussion at Friday’s meeting of the Greenbrier Public Service District No. 1 board.

    July 28, 2014

  • Beckley man places second in three-day world horseshoe tourney in Buffalo, N.Y.

    One Beckley man knows a thing or two about pitching a horseshoe. He’s been throwing for decades and he’s been to a handful of world tournaments. Recently he placed second in the 2014 World Horseshoe Pitching Tournament.

    July 28, 2014

  • saints garb new Saintly garb

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • tunnel flow Tunnel reopens after fire

    Traffic on Interstate 77 was still backed up about 14 miles in Bland County, Va., Saturday evening, but the Virginia Department of Transportation reported at about 6 p.m. that both northbound lanes of I-77 through East River Mountain were open to traffic.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • tunnel firefighters Bluefield firefighters first ones on the scene

    Lights in the southern end of the tunnel illuminate an odd design beside the catwalk near the left lane of the northbound tube of the East River Mountain Tunnel that transports I-77 from Virginia into West Virginia. Two firefighters who made the initial assault through the total darkness of the soot and smoke-filled tunnel left those marks as they slid their arms along the catwalk wall on their journey back to the light.

    July 27, 2014 2 Photos

  • Internet service providers talk shop at Broadband Summit

    Call it the Internet 101.

    West Virginia’s Internet service providers, with the help of Mike Holstine, explained how end-users in homes and businesses get the Internet, how and why they use it and the benefits of having high-speed Internet for everybody. 


    July 27, 2014

  • tunnel Fire closes I-77 for hours

    East River Mountain Tunnel was engulfed in a cloud of black smoke Friday as a result of a tractor-trailer fire inside the tunnel that ignited just after 3 p.m.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo