The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) enacted a new annual fee to water authorities so they can better regulate and inspect our operations. Along with the new annual fees, the DEP raised permit fees for system upgrades, chemical changes, water tank modifications, and general water line replacement projects which are typically completed every year. The new "Regulatory Fee" is $.25 per water customer per month to cover all of the new DEP enacted fees.
Highland's water rates are comparable or less than most similar-sized water systems in Pennsylvania. Unless there has been a mistake on your Bill (a very rare occurrence), the normal amount of your monthly bill reflects YOUR amount of service. If you want to compare your bill or usage to that of your neighbors’ or friends’, make sure you do so with several customers with like-sized families to that of yours. For comparison, the average residential customer throughout Highland's system uses 140 gallons Per Day (gpd). However, an average residential household in our service area is comprised of 2.5 persons. Therefore, a family with 2 or 3 children, or more, would pay a higher bill.
Highland does not own or operate a Sewage Treatment Plant (STP). Highland does have a sanitary sewer system in the Geistown/Richland area. This pipeline network provides Collection and Transportation for sewage flow, and your Highland Sewer Bill reflects the charges for that service. Highland's sanitary sewer pipeline network connects to three (3) separately owned adjacent sewer systems (Johnstown Regional Sewage, Windber Area Authority, Forest Hills Municipal Authority). These systems further Transport the sewage flows through their pipelines and ultimately to their STP for Treatment. Accordingly, these entities charge for Transportation & Treatment. The three agencies are completely autonomous from Highland and have the right to establish their own rates for the service they provide. The Johnstown Regional Sewage and the Forest Hills Municipal Authority provide their own billing service and mail out a separate sewer bill. Conversely, through a contractual arrangement, Highland provides the Billing service for WAA, and those charges are shown as a separate item on your monthly "Highland" bill.
"0%", Highland is a Non-Profit municipal authority. There are no shareholders demanding a profit such as there normally are with privately held utilities such as a Phone Co., Electric Co., Gas Co., etc.
A Highland customer may be allowed a one-time credit for sewer charges on the initial fill up of a newly-constructed swimming pool, or if replacing a pool liner. In order to get such credit for subsequent fillings, a customer must have a "deduction meter" installed, at the customer's expense. However, with some minor plumbing rearrangement, a customer can make full advantage of a deduction meter installation for all "outside" water usage (Car Washing, Lawn/Garden Watering, Filling/Topping-Off swimming pools, etc.). Please call our Office for further details.
At Highland's current Rates the cost of 1 Gallon of water is a little more than ½ of a penny ($.0055). Accordingly, completely flushing a 50 gallon water tank costs little more than Quarter ($.25) . Additionally, customers tend to overestimate how much water they had to let run to clear their water. The true costs are most likely between a Quarter and a Dollar. We always regret such occasional inconveniences, but credit is not issued in such cases.