Community Family Government

Water, Sewer Rates Going Up for Lower Saucon Authority Customers

If you live in Lower Saucon Township and have public water and/or sewer services provided by the Lower Saucon Authority, you should expect to pay a bit more for those services in 2018.

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If you live in Lower Saucon Township and have public water and/or sewer services provided by the Lower Saucon Authority, you should expect to pay a bit more for those services in 2018.

In a letter sent to LSA customers Wednesday, Administrator William G. Ross explained that water rates will increase 3 percent effective Jan. 1, 2018.

The Lower Saucon Authority building on Old Philadelphia Pike

“A typical residential customer with a 5/8-inch meter using 15,000 gallons of water over three months will see an increase in their quarterly bill of $3.00, or roughly 3 cents a day,” Ross said, adding that the first billing reflecting the new rate structure will occur in early May, for the usage period of January through March.

“The new rate will cover inflationary increases in operation and maintenance costs over the past three-and-a-half years, since we last raised water rates (July 1, 2014). It will also allow us to have enough capital to continue to fund the measured, stage-wise replacement of key infrastructure, primarily older water mains,” Ross wrote.

Many of the water mains that are in need of replacement are from the 1950s or earlier and are made of either cast iron or galvanized iron/steel pipe. These mains are beginning to leak and, in some cases, fail, and are being replaced a few blocks at a time with cement-lined ductile pipe that has a useful operating life of nearly a century, the letter explained.

“We typically replace 1,000-1,500 feet of water main each year,” the authority said in a statement posted on its website.

This year, 1,600 feet of water main on Bingen Road was replaced over the summer.

Another 800 feet of 4-inch pipe on Connelly Avenue will be replaced in 2018, and 1,000 feet of 8-inch pipe is scheduled to be replaced along North Drive in 2019.

In addition to the water rate increase, the cost of sewer service will also increase next year.

The Lower Saucon Authority will increase the quarterly sewer charge for all classes of service from the current $80/EDU to $90/EDU (an EDU is an Equivalent Dwelling Unit, which is used to characterize an average family’s usage, roughly 250 gallons per day).

The first billing reflecting the new rate will be issued the first week in February.

“This adjustment returns the rate to a level below what it was in 2009 and to the same rate it was in 2000,” the Authority noted.

“After eight years of stable rates, we need to reset the rate to more accurately reflect the actual cost of service and the cost of the ongoing growth of our system and services,” the statement posted online indicated.

The intent of the reduction of sewer rates in 2010 (from $102 to $80) was to reduce costs to customers after a long-term loan had been paid in full.

Letters about the increases have been mailed to all Lower Saucon Authority customers, the Authority said.

Anyone who would like more information about the increases should call 610-317-3212 or send an e-mail to ad***********@lo******************.org.

The Lower Saucon Authority serves more than 2,100 water customers and more than 2,000 sewer customers, primarily in the western half of Lower Saucon Township.

It operates and maintains approximately 41 miles of public water main and 27 miles of public sewer main, two water tanks, two sewage pumping stations and several water and sewer system monitoring stations.

Over 122 million gallons of water are supplied annually to LSA customers, according to the Authority’s website. The water is produced by the City of Bethlehem and delivered through the Authority’s Distribution System.


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About the author

Josh Popichak

Josh Popichak is the owner, publisher and editor of Saucon Source. A Lehigh Valley native, he's covered local news since 2005 and previously worked for Berks-Mont News and AOL/Patch. Contact him at

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