WSSC asks for rate increase of 7.25 percent

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission wants a substantial rate hike, one to the tune of more than 7 percent, the Gazette reports.

An aging infrastructure is one of the main reasons officials are asking Montgomery and Prince George's County customers to pay 7.25 percent more for service in 2014.

A WSSC spokesman disputed the characterization of the "substancial" rate hike, saying that the increase is relative to other changes that were made.

The Gazette says that would equate to an increase of more than $5 per month for those who use more than 210 gallons of water per day.

WSSC's reliability and infrastructure have come under scrutiny after a string of breaks in Montgomery County several weeks ago. The most prominent one, a 60-inch main rupture near Connecticut Avenue in Chevy Chase, caused water restrictions for a week and caused power, gas and traffic headaches.

In response to the break, Montgomery County Councilman Roger Berliner said that WSSC's monitoring equipment needed to be reviewed and that hundreds of lines in his county were at risk for the same type of failure.