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Rates rising for customers of Missouri American

(via Flickr/Rocpoc)

State regulators have approved a $24 million rate increase for water and sewer customers of Missouri American Water Co. - that's half of the rate increase the company sought with the Missouri Public Service Commission last summer.

The increase endorsed Wednesday is to take effect April 1 for many of the company's nearly 458,000 customers, but the exact amount will vary by community. Missouri American serves the St. Louis area, Jefferson City, Joplin, St. Joseph, Warrensburg, Mexico and other communities.

The St. Louis-based company had sought a $43 million rate increase when filing a case last summer with the Missouri Public Service Commission. The company said the rate increase was needed to cover costs of improvements in water and sewage treatment plants, pumps and pipelines that help make service reliable for customers. The company said its fuel and power costs also have increased.