VOORHEES — New Jersey American Water Customers will see their water bills spike over the next few months, as the Board of Public Utilities reviews the company's application to permanently raise its rates.

The company said it needs more than $800 million to make improvements and repairs to its treatment and distribution systems. Most customers will see an increase of around 12 percent, which for a customer using 6,000 gallons of water would mean almost $6 more per month. Wastewater customers with the company will see their bills go up around $4 per month.

"Rates are based on the true cost of water and wastewater service," New Jersey American Water president Deborah Degillio said. "We continue to work hard to control our costs by operating as efficiently as possible to control our operating expenses."

The proposed increases come not long after customers saw their bills decreas by almost 6 percent after sweeping tax reforms went into effect in April. That reduction meant customers who used 6,000 gallons of water saw their bills drop by around $3.

New Jersey American Water said the provisional rate increase is its first increase since 2015, and will result in around $75 million in additional revenue. The BPU is expected to rule on making the provisional rate increase permanent later this year.