In May, City Council increased water, sewer and stormwater rates, effective July 1, 2019. New rates will pay for:
Debt from improvements to the City's wastewater treatment plant
Future improvements planned for the water treatment plant
Planned service increases which include/have included regular pruning for city trees and improvements to the stormwater infrastructure
Water and Sewer Rates are based on an extensive Water and Waste Water Cost of Service Study. The study was performed in 2017/2018 to determine the funds required to operate and invest in the drinking water/sewer systems and to then set the rates whereby customers pay their appropriate share.
You can see how the changes may impact your water bill by using our water bill estimator tool. A full list of water, sewer and stormwater rates are also available.
July- Water rates increased 6%, Sewer rates increased 7%, Stormwater rates increased 13%.
February- Sewer rates increased 7%
The pricing of water and waste water was changed in addition to how rates are structured.
For residential customers:
Residential rate payers are now subdivided into four tiers, instead of three.
The changes in tier sizing for residential customers are as follows:
| Consumption (in CCF)||Before July 1, 2018||After July 1, 2018|
|Tier 4|| ||37+|
For non-residential and multi-family customers:
A new multi-family classification was added for 3 or more dwelling units served off one meter. There is also a simplification to one sub-classification in the non-residential (formerly commercial) customer class.
For more detailed information on the new structure, please see the ordinance (PDF) adopted by City Council.
What stayed the same?
Customer bills are still comprised of two components- the fixed customer charge and the charge for volume of water used. Customers will still enjoy the 10% on-time payment discount. Residential customers will still receive a summer sewer discount, where the price you pay in the summer for sewer charges will be capped at the winter water consumption average.
Stormwater is a component of your bill, there are no changes to how you will be billed for stormwater.
How am I going to be impacted by this change?
It depends on how much water you use. See our rate estimator for information on what your new bill may look like based on usage.
What happens next?
Additional rate increases are planned to maintain the financial health of our water systems. Rate adjustments will next be presented to Council for the water and sewer funds in Spring/Summer 2020.
Why did we change the rate structure?
In 2017, the City conducted what is called a cost of service study. The last cost of service rate study was conducted in 2003.
A cost of service study uses data to identify the costs necessary to operate and invest in the water and sewer systems and adjust the rate structure to make sure costs match up with the users who are driving those costs.
Since 2003, usage patterns have changed and the new rate structure adjusts for the changes and provides a sustainable and stable source of revenue to continue operating, maintaining and improving the water and sewer system.
The structure was adjusted based on the best available data (millions of data points) and industry best practice.
I can't afford my water/sewer bill, is help available?
There are several steps you can take to lower your water bill. One approach is to try low cost water conservation solutions, there are dozens of actions you can take from turning off your tap while brushing your teeth to installing a rain sensor on your sprinkler systems.
If you are facing a crisis, and qualify for low-income assistance, there are community resources available through the Barrier Busters Program. Please call 734.544.6748 to reach them.
For questions or more information, please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or calling the Customer Service Desk at 734.794.6333.