Council adopts new rates for water, wastewater, and solid waste

City Council approved new residential water, wastewater, and solid waste rates at its regular meeting Tuesday.

The new water and wastewater rates come after a cost-of-service rate study was completed this summer by consultants NewGen Strategies and Solutions. The study helped determine the rates and rate structure needed to equitably fund the water utility, including all costs associated with operating, maintaining, and expanding the utility.

The new water rates include an increase of $1.50 to the average residential customer’s base rate. The change also includes reducing the number of tiers for the volumetric rate to help meet the council’s conservation goals.

Volumetric rates (per 1,000 gallons)

2019

2020

Gallons Cost Gallons Cost
0-10,000 $1.75 0-7,000 $1.85
10,001-20,000 $2.40 7,001-15,000 $2.75
20,001-40,000 $4 15,001-25,000 $4.80
40,001-60,000 $6.50 25,000 and more $8.40
60,001 and more $8.50

For the average water user using 10,200 gallons per month, the monthly water bill will increase to $46.25 from $40.98.

The council also approved increasing residential wastewater rates, which, for residential customers, will increase to $34.85, up from $32 per month.

The new water and wastewater rates go into effect Jan. 1, 2021.

As part of the study, NewGen reviewed the costs associated with operating, maintaining, and expanding a utility and projected those costs over the next five years to determine the revenue required to cover those costs. In addition to expenses, the cost-of-service rate study also evaluated how the different types of customers, such as residential, industrial, and commercial users, used the system to make sure each type of ratepayer is paying their fair share and treated equitably.

The utility reviews its rates and impact fees every three years to ensure the costs to operate the utility are covered by the combination of rates, impact fees, and bond issuance. The last water rate study was completed in 2018. The rate study completed in 2020 was done a year early due to the anticipated need for additional revenue to help fund significant water and wastewater projects that have been accelerated to meet customer demand. Water rates were last adjusted for residential customers in 2014, nonresidential water rates in 2019, and wastewater rates for all customers in 2019.

The new rates will help meet the guidance set by City Council at its Aug. 25 meeting, which includes complying with set policy, making sure revenues are sufficient to cover the cost of operating the utility, encouraging conservation, and making costs of service equitable among customer types.

For more information on the new water/wastewater rates, the 2020 water rate study, and a year-by-year comparison of the new rates, visit gus.georgetown.org/water/2020-water-rate-study-faq.

Council also approved a $1.37 increase to residential customer solid waste rates to help cover an increase in costs from Texas Disposal Systems, the expansion of the Transfer Station, and the City’s household hazardous waste program. The updated solid waste rates go into effect Nov. 1.

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