Commission denies Eagle Water repair expense
Boise – The Idaho Public Utilities Commission is denying a request by Eagle Water Co. to collect $40,027 from its customers for expenses it incurred to replace a damaged 8-inch water main.
The water main had to be replaced after it was undermined by a gravel pit operater. The commission said ratepayers should not be liable for the company’s decision to build utility infrastructure within a temporary easement in a gravel pit. The commission said Eagle Water did not provide an adequate explanation as to why the company believed the route it chose for the water main was the most cost-effective.
Eagle Water serves about 2,500 households in and around the city of Eagle. It is not the same as the City of Eagle’s municipal water service. Eagle Water was recently granted authority by the commission to assess a one-year 42.5 percent surcharge on water use above 600 cubic-feet per month to recover expenses the company incurred to make immediate repairs. The commission’s decision Monday to deny the portion of those costs related to the water main replacement means the 42.5 percent surcharge will remain in place, but not for as long. The surcharge, originally intended to recover $160,389 over one year will now expire after the company has collected $112,414. The money allowed to be recovered from customers includes costs for an engineering study and immediate improvements the commission ordered last fall after customers complained of low water pressure.
To the average customer, the surcharge means an increase of $3 during non-irrigation months and about $10 during irrigation months. The surcharge, which started Oct. 27, applies only to use more than 600 cubic-feet per month, or about 4,500 gallons, which meets the monthly needs of many customers during non-irrigation months.
A full text of the commission’s order, along with other documents related to this case, are available on the commission’s Web site at www.puc.idaho.gov. Click on “File Room” and then on “Water Cases” and scroll down to Case Number EAG-W-05-02.
Interested parties may petition the commission for reconsideration by no later than Feb 27. Petitions can be delivered to the commission at 472 W. Washington St. in Boise, mailed to P.O. Box 83720, Boise, ID, 83720-0074, or faxed to 208-334-3762.