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Water Report Criticizes Private Companies

A non-profit organization has released a report that claims private utilities are not providing affordable or healthy water to some small communities in North Carolina. The report from Clean Water for North Carolina says private companies charge their customers using a system called single tariff. It allows them to raise rates if they make more investments in water systems. Katie Hicks is the lead author of the report. She says companies likeAqua North Carolina are buying more water systems in small communities. 

Katie Hicks: "What that does is it drives up the costs that they’re allowed to recover through customer bills, so it’s kind of this situation where they’re continuing to invest in buying new systems without necessarily having fixed the old ones, and then people’s rates are going up, and up and through the roof."

Aqua spokeswoman Gretchen Toner says small communities facing budget constraints depend on private utilities to provide water to their residents. She says Aqua meets all environmental and health regulations as well as state laws.

Will Michaels is WUNC's General Assignment Reporter and fill-in host for "Morning Edition"
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