2019 Rate Updates for Treated Water Customers
Rate Structure Changes and 2019 Rate Increases
In 2018, the District conducted the annual rate review along with an independent, comprehensive analysis of its treated and untreated water service to evaluate rate structure changes. Doing both at once is the most cost-effective and transparent approach. See Current Rates based on these approved changes.
How do the changes impact my water bill?
Please refer to your water bill for the charges that apply to you, your meter size, energy zone and water usage. Use our treated water rate estimator to see how both changes may affect what you pay for water service. Your account number is required for the estimator. You may also reach our customer service staff at 925-688-8044 from 7:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
Information below walks through both the rate structure changes and the rate adjustment separately, and then brings them together to show you the cumulative approved changes.
What You Need to Know…
- Changes to our rate structure as well as a rate adjustment for 2019 were approved on January 2, 2019.
- For an average residential customer, these changes amount to a cumulative increase of $9.39 per bi-monthly billing cycle as of February 1, 2019.
- Water flowing from the tap 24/7 is still less than a penny per gallon.
- We remain committed to investing in your water system to ensure our customers continue to receive safe, high-quality water.
- We strive to provide exceptional service at affordable rates.
1) Rate Structure Changes
Your water bill is determined based on what it costs to serve water to your home or business. Due to state requirements under Proposition 218, and the changing water use trends driven by the recent drought, we need to reassess our rate structure.
- We worked with an independent consultant to ensure proper allocation of costs among customers and develop the Final Administrative Record for Rate Structure Analysis (PDF). Our proposed rate structure changes align water rates with the cost of your water service, nothing more.
- These structural changes only affect how rates and charges are allocated on the bill; they do not result in additional funds for the District overall.
- With the rate structure changes, some customers’ bills may go down, while others will go up depending on their service.
NOTABLE CHANGES UNDER THE RATE STRUCTURE
Renaming Two Charges – The Readiness to Serve (Svc/Demand) Charge now incorporates public fire protection and is called Service Charge. The Water Consumption Charge is now called Usage Charge.
Resetting Zone Charges – Pumping water to customers in higher elevations requires more energy. With this change, zone charges will be reset for customers, so that they only pay their share of the energy cost required to deliver water to their home or business.
Fire Protection Charges – Adequate fire protection for all customers is paramount and maintaining the larger facilities that provide that protection is critical as well.
- Public fire protection charges are being incorporated into the daily service charge, rather than listing them as a separate charge. The charges have been updated to more accurately reflect the cost of providing this important service at approximately 2¢ a day.
- Private fire protection charges have been updated to ensure that every customer with a private fire protection system pays their fair share by distributing costs by meter size which determines the water usage capacity. These additional private fire service lines are primarily for commercial and large public buildings.
Elimination of the Excess Use Charge – Due to changes in state law, we must remove the excess use charge, which increased the rate for customers who exceeded their budgeted water allocation.
Backflow Prevention Maintenance Charges – Customers with backflow prevention devices will see changes to their bill to reflect the cost of the necessary annual testing, repairs and periodic replacement of these devices. For private fire service, the flat rate charge for the backflow prevention device is replaced with a charge based on its size.
2) Annual Rate Adjustment
Water rates pay for the transport and delivery of safe, high-quality, and reliable water to all District customers. Based on our annual review conducted with the rate structure evaluation, our Board approved a rate adjustment 2019 Rate Review Public Hearing and Adoption (PDF) to generate a 6% revenue increase for 2019 to maintain your water service.
These adjustments are necessary to:
- Meet the increasing costs of operating and maintaining the system as well as treating and delivering water
- Continue repairing and replacing aging pipes and other facilities
- Account for new state mandates
- Fund employee salaries and benefits
- Rebuild financial reserves for the next drought
Putting It All Together: 2018 Rates Compared to 2019 Rates
Under the previous rates, the average residential customer who uses 260 gallons of water per day pays about $2.17 per day for their water service. With both the approved rate structure changes and the rate adjustment in place, the per-day cost would change to $2.33. This would result in an increase of $9.39 per bimonthly billing cycle for the next year.