In the early 2000s, the City of San Diego was hit with a rash of water main breaks and sewer spills. This was due in large part because the City's aging water and sewer infrastructure was in need of replacement, repair and upgrades. Some pipelines had been in operation for a hundred years.
Beginning in 2007, the City increased water rates by 6.5% per year for three years to replace and improve water system infrastructure. In addition, sewer rates were increased by 8.75% in 2007 and 2008, and 7% in 2009 and 2010 to operate, maintain, repair and upgrade the City's wastewater system. These rate increases are paying for more than $585,200,000 of needed water system improvements and $585,385,000 of necessary sewer system upgrades. These projects include replacement of water and sewer mains, water treatment plants upgrades, sewer pipeline rehabilitation, and water and sewer pump station improvements.