The cost to provide water and sewer services is rising and expenses are higher than revenue. Costs have increased for water, energy, maintenance, treatment and equipment. In addition, updates and repairs are needed on the water and sewer systems and current projected revenue cannot support these needs.
Read more about why rate changes are necessary
Water Rate Structure
The adopted water rate structure is comprised of two components: a fixed monthly service charge (the “Water Utility Charge”), and the variable water consumption charge (the “Water Usage Charge”). Four customer classes have been established – Single Family, Multi-Family, Non-Residential and Recycled Water users. Commodity costs are distributed among them based on each customer class’s total water use. Commodity costs for recycled water are allocated 100 percent to those customers. Utility costs are allocated to each respective customer class based on meter size.
Water usage charges have two tiers based on the source of the water and its availability. The Tier 1 rate recovers the cost of groundwater extraction, the electricity for producing and distributing that water, and some other costs. Tier 2 recovers the costs of purchasing imported water and the electrical costs for distributing that volume of water. The allocation of water in each tier is based on the amount of water supply that is available from each respective source.
Sewer Rate Structure
The variable Sewer Commodity Charge and fixed Service Charge have been replaced by a single fixed Sewer Utility Charge, based on the size of the water meter and customer class.
View the adopted rates
Fixed charges cover the cost of maintaining the reliability of the water, recycled water or sewer system. They include maintenance, repair and replacement of pipes and pumps, water quality testing, meter reading, and customer service. These costs are independent of how much water is used.
Variable charges are based on how much water is delivered to a home and include the cost of purchasing imported water, electricity and treatment.
To estimate the impact on your bill, use our online bill estimator tool.
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The City of Santa Ana hired an independent financial expert to analyze the cost of service, rate structure, and multi-year financial plan to sustain the water and sewer systems.
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The new rates and charges took effect on January 1, 2020, and subsequent increases are scheduled each July 1 in 2021, 2022 and 2023.
Residential and non-residential customers will have seen a change to their rates. The new rates help cover the increasing costs of providing water and sewer services.
In order to meet the water and sewer needs of the City’s residents and continue providing reliable service, it is essential that we invest in the water and sewer systems.
Read more about the city’s Capital Investment Plan
All the revenue generated from rates goes directly back into providing water and sewer services for residents of the City. As a public service provider, the City of Santa Ana can only charge its customers for the costs associated with providing water and sewer services.
TThe City Council voted to adopt the new rates on November 19, 2019, following a public hearing. The rates took affect on January 1, 2020.
You can learn more by contacting the City of Santa Ana Public Works Agency.
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