Hingham: Aquarion Water problems may lead to town ownership

Wednesday night, Aquarion Vice President of Operations Harry Hibbard updated the Hingham Water Supply Committee that Hingham, Hull, and Cohasset may not be future customers.

An 18.7% rate increase was proposed by Aquarion Water Company, though costs recently jumped in 2009. Last week, Hingham Selectmen announced an article will be on the April town meeting warrant to fund a feasibility study investigating a town-owned and operated Water Company.

Aquarion Vice President of Operations Harry Hibbard explained other towns are also seeking ownership, “Oxford is currently trying to take over our operations in Oxford, Massachusetts. Hingham is basically looking into the feasibility of taking over our operations in Hingham, Hull, and Cohasset.”

Although Aquarion has been in litigation with the Town of Oxford for years over ownership and could be in the same situation again, Hibbard believes it’s a minor setback, “We’re still a strong company. We’re still bringing clean, potable water to our customers on a regular basis.”

Hingham residents have not only voiced strong opposition against the rate hike but also against water quality and infrastructure maintenance.

The Department of Public Utilities has yet to approve the proposed 18.7% increase. If approved, the new rate will go into effect April 2012.

About Trisha McNeilly

With a Bachelor’s Degree in American Studies from the University of Massachusetts-Boston under her belt, Trisha McNeilly joins us full-time as a general assignment and breaking news reporter having previously interned for WBZ-1030 AM in Boston. A South Shore resident her whole life, McNeilly grew up in Pembroke and is 22-years old.