Most Won't Pay It - 27 East

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Southampton Press / Opinion / Letters / 1700709

Most Won’t Pay It

Most Won’t Pay It

As noted in a letter to the editor last week [“Shame On The SCWA! Letters, 27east.com, May 11], the Suffolk County Water Authority Board recently increased its conservation rate, which is charged to those who exceed certain water usage thresholds.

But left unsaid is that this action allowed the board to freeze the base water rate, which directly benefits the vast majority of SCWA customers.

Those who use excessive amounts of water, particularly at peak times during the summer lawn-watering season, cause the need for costly water infrastructure to meet the additional demand. And so the SCWA Board made the decision last year to require customers who use more water to pay more for the privilege. If they don’t, ratepayers who use a modest amount of water — whether for environmental or financial reasons — will have to subsidize the larger users.

Consider that the average residential SCWA customer uses approximately 130,000 gallons of water per year. The conservation rate does not kick in until a customer with up to a 1-inch meter reaches 78,540 gallons in a single quarter.

And so those who are careful with their water use will not exceed that figure, and therefore will see no increase in their base water rate.

Your readers also should know that the SCWA has taken numerous steps to help our customers during these difficult times, including not shutting off service for lack of payment, waiving late fees and offering payment plans of up to 24 months to give those suffering financial hardship one less thing to worry about.

And, finally, I’d like to note that, due to our resilient and dedicated staff, we’ve made sure that our customers have continued to enjoy a high-quality and reliable water supply all throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.

Jeffrey W. Szabo

Chief Executive Officer

Suffolk County Water Authority

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