Idaho Public Utilities Commission
Case No. BRN-W-11-01, Order No. 32324
August 15, 2011
Contact: Gene Fadness (208) 334-0339, 890-2712
Rates increase for Boise’s Brian Water customers
The Idaho Public Utilities Commission has approved a rate increase for the 46 households served by Boise-based Brian Water Corporation.
The increase, which was effective Monday, increases the basic monthly charge from the current $12.50 to $17.50 for the first 4,000 gallons used per month. The commission also approved an additional commodity charge of $1.51 for every 1,000 gallons used above 4,000 gallons.
Brian Water serves customers in the Warm Springs area of eastern Boise.
The commission re-stated its 2007 directive to the company to read meters monthly rather than bi-monthly. The company has failed to do so, the commission noted, and must do so now to avoid facing civil penalties. “In failing to institute monthly billing, Brian Water not only exacerbates its cash flow problems, but also subjects the company to potential penalties,” the commission said.
Further cash flow problems are attributed to the company’s failure to more timely collect bills. The commission directed Brian Water to use commission rules to enforce bill collection and implement a 1 percent per month late fee on any unpaid balance.
The Brian Water system was built in the early 1960s and has two production wells, one a primary well and one a back-up well. Because of the age of the system, water loss is high. Further, the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality has stated that the system’s nitrate levels exceed the federal maximum contamination level. The company is considering a new, deeper well. The commission said that when the company builds a new well it should include the costs of a flow meter which would allow the company to reduce loss and better manage its water resource.
The commission said it also included enough additional revenue ($4,590 of additional annual revenue for a total yearly revenue requirement of $17,532) to allow the company to begin replacing its aging meters. The money allowed in the new rates should permit the company to replace five meters each year.