WASHINGTON (AP) — Maryland residents are questioning a proposed water rate hike by the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission.

The commission’s proposed 8.9 percent rate increase would be its eighth consecutive boost, adding about $16 to the average quarterly bill.

The proposed increase comes as the utility launches an effort to repair and upgrade its aging system which has suffering frequent water main breaks, including the break of a 54-inch main in Capitol Heights last month.

At a recent public hearing on the hike, residents of Prince George’s and Montgomery counties said the increase would be another hardship in a tough economy. The increase has to be approved by both counties before it can take effect this summer.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)


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