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Greenport Village: Water rates increasing due to SCWA charge

Greenport Village residents will pay at least $3.57 more for water each month following a rate increase from the Suffolk County Water Authority.

The Village Board held a public hearing to amend Chapter 136 of Village Code related to water rates at Thursday’s regular meeting. 

Residential users will now pay a minimum charge of $18.51 monthly beginning as early as February, if the Village votes to approve the code change.

Commercial users, who pay a minimum of $36.90 per month, will soon owe $44.48 per month, approximately $7.58 more.

The minimum rate applies to usage of up to 2,000 gallons for residential users and 9,000 gallons for commercial users. Additional usage is billed at a starting rate of $3.33 per 1,000 gallons for all users, escalating to $4.84 per 1,000 gallons beyond a specific threshold — 18,000 gallons for homeowners and 60,000 gallons for businesses.

The increase in the surcharge is a direct result of SCWA action, Mayor George Hubbard Jr. said. 

“We have no choice on this, we can’t argue it,” he said. “It’s in a chapter of their bylaws that they can just add a rate onto everybody, and everybody in Suffolk County is getting hit with this.” 

The village, which services about 1,100 customers, has not increased water rates on its own since 2007, Mr. Hubbard said. Since then, SCWA has increased village fees three times.

The surcharge to all county customers, approved in November 2019, will help pay for 56 new advanced oxidation process treatment systems, or AOPs, and 20 granular activated carbon systems, which will help remove the contaminants 1,4-dioxane, PFOS and PFOA from the water, according to an SCWA press release.

All three compounds have been detected in drinking water systems across the country, yet they remain unregulated by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.

No comments were made at the public hearing. The board closed the hearing and is expected to approve the fees next month.