Assemblyman Weisenberg: South Shore residents don’t deserve unfair rate hikes for poor quality water

July 29, 2011
Assemblyman Harvey Weisenberg (D-Long Beach) announced his strong opposition to a 19.5 percent rate increase requested by the Long Island American Water Corporation and is calling for the Public Service Commission to reject their request. The Public Service Commission is responsible for setting the rates for New York’s utilities.

For the past 20 years, residents in the village of Lawrence have experienced continuous problems with iron deposits diminishing the quality of their water, according to Lawrence Mayor Martin Oliner.

“Lawrence residents have long complained about the quality of their water and have seen little improvement,” Weisenberg said. “It is unfair to ask for more money for water that, in some cases, is undrinkable. The water company cannot expect our families to pay more for a product that is not safe to consume.”

In 2007, the Long Island American Water Corporation increased their rates just over 20 percent, and requested the hikes to clean iron deposits out of the water. Last October, a new iron removal plant was opened to help stop the iron intrusion. Yet, recent reports have revealed that some South Shore residents still experience problems with rusting filters, black chunks in their water lines, stained pools and damaged hot water heaters. With drinking water full of iron deposits, households are forced to change their water filters more often than normal and purchase bottled water instead of drinking from their faucets, already increasing the amount they spend on water, added Weisenberg.

“It is my belief that the Long Island American Water Corporation should not be able to increase fees on their customers without taking more responsibility for the problems with the water they deliver,” Weisenberg said. “I will continue fighting to make sure our South Shore residents aren’t forced to spend preposterous amounts of their hard-earned money for unclean water.”