Bridgeport officials, WPCA to battle potential 66% sewage bill hike due to state-mandated upgrades

Bridgeport officials and the Water Pollution Control Authority say they are hoping to combat a potential 66% sewage bill hike because of state-mandated improvements.

News 12 Staff

Mar 11, 2021, 11:24 PM

Updated 1,170 days ago

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Bridgeport officials and the Water Pollution Control Authority say they are hoping to combat a potential 66% sewage bill hike because of state-mandated improvements.
The state is requiring the two wastewater treatment facilities in Bridgeport, which also serve Trumbull, to be upgraded.
City Councilwoman Maria Pereira tells News 12 Connecticut the increase was presented as an option based on figures released by the WPCA at a municipal meeting Monday.
"The WPCA and the Bridgeport City Council are going to bond for $395 million for our sewer treatment facility upgrades, and that means by 2027, the average rate payer will see a 66% increase," she says.
WPCA General Manager Lauren Mappa says the numbers Pereira cited are the WPCA's projected "worst case scenario."
"Will rates increase? Yes. Do we know much? No, we haven't even begun design," Mappa says. "For the committee, we did show the worst case, but it's our duty to make sure it's a lot less than that."
Still, WPCA customer Lois Patrick says any increase will be too much, especially because of hardships the pandemic has caused.
"They're making it almost impossible for us to get ahead or to even catch up," she says.
Pereira says in a city with the highest eviction rate in New England and the highest unemployment and foreclosure rates in the state, no rate hike will be acceptable. She says city leaders should go to Connecticut's congressional delegation and lobby for more federal funds.
Mappa says work on the upgrades will likely not begin for three years, which means potential rate hikes wouldn't go into effect for some time.


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