It wasn't the rate York County customers or Carolina Water wanted. Both got it anyway.

Water and sewer rates are going up for thousands of customers in York County.

The South Carolina Public Service Commission finalized new rates for Carolina Water Service customers Friday. New rates can begin in 30 days.

The rates vary by service area and type. For most customers in York County, including almost all of Lake Wylie, the base water charge actually drops 1 percent, but the price per thousand gallons of water used increases more than 13 percent. The utility had asked for 30 percent.

The average residential water bill would increase, per the new rates, from $54.66 to $59.85. Carolina Water had asked for $68.78.

Sewer rates will increase even more. Homes rates will increase 14 percent where sewage is collected and treated, 24 percent where it is collected and sent elsewhere for treatment. Both rates were lower than the requested amounts.

Carolina Water filed for a rate increase in November. The utility operates statewide, and asked for a combined revenue increase of $4.5 million. Hearings were held in Lake Wylie, Greenville and Columbia. The public service commission ultimately approved rates totaling a $2.9 million revenue increase.

York County has more than 9,700 water and sewer customers on Carolina Water. Most are on the large public lines running through Lake Wylie, though smaller systems in the Fort Mill and Rock Hill areas are involved, too.

Residents spoke out against the increases in March, saying the water already cost too much and complaining about water quality. Of the more than 50 responses submitted to the service commission in protest of the rates, almost half came from York County residents.

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