Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. BRN-W-12-01, Order No. 32566
June 14, 2012
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Surcharge approved for Brian Water customers
State regulators have authorized an east Boise water company to assess its customers $15 per month for six months beginning this month in order to raise $4,000 to pay for an engineering study to address ways to reduce nitrate levels.
Brian Water Company, which serves about 46 households east of Boise, has been ordered by the state Department of Environmental Quality to hire a professional engineer to evaluate treatment options to reduce nitrate contaminate levels that continue to exceed the maximum allowable 10 milligrams per liter.
In March, Brian Water asked the Idaho Public Utilities Commission to approve a $22.50 per month customer surcharge to fund the study and a new well. The commission reduced the surcharge amount to fund only the study. The issue of how to respond to the mitigation study’s findings, which may recommend a new well, will be considered after the preliminary engineering report is completed.
The commission attached several conditions to the surcharge approval. Among those are requirements that surcharge funds be deposited in a separate account and not co-mingled with Brian Water’s operating funds or the personal funds of owner Tony Bowar. Further, the surcharge account is subject to random audits by commission staff upon one week’s notice. The surcharge must be listed as a single line-item on customer bills and clearly identified as a surcharge.
DEQ is requiring that a preliminary engineering report must be submitted to DEQ by no later than Dec. 15. The company must also notify customers at least quarterly about the nitrate levels in its system.
Brian Water’s residential customers pay a base rate of $17.50 per month, plus $1.51 for each thousand gallons that exceeds 4,000 gallons per month.