For the first time in 10 years, the City of San Diego is looking to increase wastewater rates, by 5%, starting in January 2022. In addition, the City’s Public Utilities Department is proposing to pass through regional water cost increases to its customers.
The rate increases for sewer services will help the City continue to upgrade core infrastructure by replacing aging pipes and sewer mains; and fund future investments like Pure Water, a landmark water recycling project that will avoid wastewater treatment cost increases and reduce discharges to the ocean.
The City currently imports as much as 90% of its water, the bulk of which is purchased from the San Diego County Water Authority (CWA). While the costs of purchasing water from CWA have risen over the past several years, the City is now proposing to pass on a rate adjustment for the first time in two years of approximately 2% starting in 2022. Water and sewer rates in San Diego are comprised of base fees and usage charges for various customer classes.
The City conducted a cost of service study on wastewater (sewer) rates to evaluate future revenue requirements for operating and capital costs. The study found that if the City’s sewer rates remain unchanged, there will not be enough revenue to provide necessary wastewater and recycled water services between fiscal years 2022 and 2025. As a result, Public Utilities is proposing a four-year consecutive rate increase starting with 5% in 2022, up to 4% in fiscal years 2023 and 2024, and up to 3% in fiscal years 2025 and 2026.
Proposed water and wastewater rate increases are being presented to the City Council’s Budget and Government Efficiency Committee on April 7, 2021. A full City Council vote is anticipated in mid-September.
Community presentations are being planned for 2021. Please check back here for schedule.