HARRISBURG – The Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission (PUC) approved a joint settlement approving a lower rate increase than requested by Tri-Valley Water Supply Inc.

The Commission voted 5-0 to approve the joint settlement, which was reached among the company, the PUC's Office of Trial Staff, and the state's Office of Consumer Advocate.

The settlement allows the company to increase its annual rates by $24,000 (19.5 percent).

Tri-Valley had originally filed a request for an increase in annual rates of $54,430 (44.3 percent).

As part of the settlement, the average quarterly bill for residential customers using 8,000 gallons per quarter in the El Do Lake Division will increase by $21 from $84 to $105 (25 percent).

For residential customers using 10,000 gallons of water per quarter in the Cypress Park and Stone Ridge Manor Divisions, the average quarterly bill will increase by $21.50 from $130.60 to $152.10 (16.5 percent).

Tri-Valley provides service to about 278 customers in portions of Lower Towamensing and Mahoning townships, Carbon County, and portions of Polk Township, Monroe County.