Letter in The Journal News
Suez New York, which supplies Rockland County homes and businesses with water, is primarily a transporter of water. Suez gets its water free from Rockland County sources; Mother Nature fills up our reservoirs, streams and aquifers with water. .
Consumers pay Suez New York to filter, chemically treat our water, and transport it back to us. So, if there are leaks in the water pipes, consumers pay for the lost filtered, treated and transported water. If we gave our household goods to a transporter (i.e. moving company) to pack and deliver, we would expect to get all items back, not 25 percent of our goods disappearing. Any lost items would be paid for by the moving company.
As far as Suez is concerned, they get their money either way, and therefore, don’t have any real motivation to fix leaking pipes. This is where the Public Service Commission must protect the ratepayer. If the PSC required Suez New York to pay for the lost water, the company would be more motivated to fix the leaking pipes. For example: Suez could be penalized at one penny for each gallon lost, and at the end of the year reimburse the ratepayers with an appropriate check. Suez, as with corporate penalties in general, should not be able to build this cost into a rate schedule. This system would motivate Suez New York to fix the leaks while conserving our precious water.
The PSC must rise to the occasion and ensure that our resources are not wasted, and that ratepayers are protected.