State Agencies Supporting Water System Partnerships
Connecticut Department of Public Health (DPH)
Connecticut Public Utilities Regulatory Authority (PURA)
State Policies and Programs Regarding Water System Partnerships
DWSRF PRIORITIZATION OF CONSOLIDATION PROJECTS
Public water system consolidations are a priority in Connecticut’s DWSRF program. Priority points are awarded for projects that include consolidation, acquisition or transfer of other systems, and interconnections. Additional state funding might also be available to assist to subsidize interconnections and system consolidations.
STATE ORDERED CONSOLIDATION OR RESTRUCTURING
Non-compliance, monitoring and reporting violations, or lack of certified operators are triggers that help the Connecticut Capacity Development Program prioritize systems that may benefit from restructuring or connecting to another system. Restructuring and connecting non-sustainable systems can occur through formal enforcement actions, direct acquisition by another water system, or ordered acquisition approved by DPH & PURA. In certain circumstances, PURA, the DPH, a municipality served by a water company, or an organization representing 20 percent of the water system’s customers can petition the court for attachment of the assets of the company and to place the company in receivership. In cases where the acquisition of the system by the most suitable entity is ordered by DPH and PURA, the acquiring entity can recover the costs of acquisition and improvements through rates and can impose a rate surcharge to recover on a current basis all costs of the acquisition and necessary improvements. The surcharge can be imposed on the customers of the acquired and the acquiring company, revised quarterly, and “designed to recover 100 percent of the revenues to provide a net after-tax return on investment” (General Statutes Sec. 16-262l, 262n, 262o). In addition, compensation can be provided to the acquiring company.
Connecticut’s state legislature passed “An Act Concerning a Connecticut Plan for Public Water Supply Coordination” in 1985, with the purpose of delineating service areas throughout the state and encouraging regional planning of Connecticut’s water resources. Connecticut General Statue 25-33h-1(c) states that each Water Utility Coordinating Committee will prepare a coordinate water system plan that will address assuring high quality drinking water for a 50-year period, water conservation, joint management, and source water protection planning in each area.
NEW SYSTEMS MUST CONSIDER INTERCONNECTION TO EXISTING SYSTEMS
Small water systems (serving 1,000 people or fewer or with 250 service connections or fewer) must obtain a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) from DPH prior to any construction or expansion. DPH, in coordination with PURA, will not issue a CPCN unless it determines that no feasible interconnection with an existing system is available (General Statutes Sec. 16-262m).
Helpful Links to State Resources
- Connecticut DPH Drinking Water Section: http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3139&q=387304&dphNav_GID=1824&dphPNavCtr=|#47062
- Connecticut DPH WUCC: http://www.ct.gov/dph/cwp/view.asp?a=3139&q=387352
- Connecticut DWSRF: www.ct.gov/dph/dwsrf
- General Statutes of Connecticut: https://www.cga.ct.gov/current/pub/titles.htm