How to Read Your Water and Sewer Bill
If you have your current bill in front of you, it's easy to match up the information on your bill with the outlined bill.
1. Detachable bill payment stub
The part of the bill above the perforation contains information vital to the City when we process your payment. If you pay your bill by mail, this portion is detached and returned with your check.
5. Water and sewer charges
There are two sets of charges on your water/sewer bill. The charges show your water base fee, how much water you used and at what rates you were charged for the water, your sewer base fee, your sewer charge and your storm drain fee. When totaled this gives you your total amount due. If under the Code heading you find the letter E, it means your bill for this month has been estimated.
Here's a quick explanation of some of the charges on your water and sewer bill:
Base Fee - Water -- This is a non-variable amount collected to offset fixed costs of running the Public Utilities Department. Such costs include rent, running the Customer Services Section and paying for a portion of the fixed operating costs of the water system including routine maintenance and replacement of facilities.
Water Used --This is a variable fee based upon the amount of water used. Money collected through this fee pays for buying, treating and delivering water, as well as for the maintenance, repair and replacement of the water system.
Base Fee - Sewer -- This is a non-variable amount collected to offset the fixed costs of running the wastewater system. Fixed costs include routine maintenance and replacement of the sewer system including the Point Loma Sewage Treatment Plant.
Sewer -- Single-family domestic customers have an individualized sewer rate based upon the amount of water used during their winter monitoring period (primarily December through March). Measuring is done during the winter because that's when the highest percentage of water used is returned to the sewage system. Money collected for this fee pays for collecting and transporting sewage to the Point Loma Sewage Treatment Plant, the treating and safe disposal of the effluent and the maintenance, repair and replacement of the sewage system.
Storm Drain Fee -- This fee pays for the cleaning, repair and maintenance of the city's storm drain system.
How Your Dollars are Used -- The water fees on your bill reflect the City's cost to treat and deliver water throughout the City and for running daily operations. In addition, your bill pays for a portion of the overall costs incurred by the Metropolitan Water District of Southern California (MWD), which imports raw water from the Colorado River and Northern California. A portion of the water bill is also for costs incurred by the County Water Authority, which delivers water received from MWD to water agencies within San Diego County, such as the City of San Diego Public Utilities Department. Finally your bill also pays for the work the City has to do to be incompliance with State and Federal government regulations such as the Safe Drinking Water Act.
Of course, at any time you have questions about your water and sewer bill, please call a Customer Service Representative at (619) 515-3500.