Most households in Maryland receive water and sewer services from their city or county (Central Maryland) or from the quasi-governmental Water Suburban Sanitation Commission (WSSC). The MD Public Service Commission does not have authority over these entities, and therefore the prices, terms and quality of service are not regulated. Billing and service complaints must be made to your city or county government, or to WSSC.
The remaining customers are served by private water companies or have well water. We do have some private water companies in Maryland, which are located primarily in rural and suburban areas of the State. These companies are subject to regulation by the MD PSC, and must receive approval for changes in rates or terms of service. Historically, most of these companies were small, independent companies serving small communities and neighborhoods. Over the past twenty years, we have experienced a number of mergers and acquisitions of the small companies, particularly as large national water companies have acquired these local companies. Since the private water companies are fully regulated, any proposed merger or acquisition must be approved by the MD PSC.
One of the major issues for small private water companies and their customers is the ability of the company to maintain the distribution system (and water quality) while providing water service at a reasonable cost. When companies have a small number of customers, it can be problematic to ensure the integrity of the distribution system, through maintenance, repairs and upgrades, without imposing significant rate increases on the customers.
OPC represents the interests of the residential water customers in any MD PSC involving the rates or service quality of the private water company, to advocate for an appropriate balance of reasonable rates and proper service quality.