Thousands of residential and business water customers in Tioga County will see higher bills for the next three years because of the 2011 flood.

United Water is implementing a storm surcharge to recover the cost of making repairs following the flood that occurred in the wake of Tropical Storm Lee.

United Water's Deborah Rizzi told WNBF News the storm surcharge will go into effect Thursday.

Rizzi said the added fee will affect about 4500 customers in the towns of Owego, Tioga and Nichols.

The average residential customer can expect a surcharge of about $3.37 per quarter for three years. That would mean a total added cost of $40.44.

United Water will receive just over $175,000 from the surcharge to cover storm-related expenses.

Rizzi said as part of the repair process, electrical panels were elevated to help reduce the risk of problems from future flooding.