Water and Sewer Rates

FY21 Water & Sewer Rates Now Available

The FY21 rates represent the following changes from FY20 rates:

  1. A 7.5% increase in water volumetric charges;
  2. A 2.5% increase in sewer volumetric charges; and
  3. No change to existing base charges for both water and sewer.

Scroll down to view more details in the tab below titled "FY21 Residential & Commercial Rates."

  • FY21 Residential & Commercial Rates

  • FY20 Residential & Commercial Rates

  • FY19 Residential & Commercial Rates

  • FY18 Residential & Commercial Rates

The tables below outline the water and sewer volumetric rates for the Fiscal Year 2021 (FY21). The FY21 rates represent the following changes to the current rates:

  1. A 7.5% increase in water volumetric charges;
  2. A 2.5% increase in sewer volumetric charges; and
  3. No change to existing base charges for both water and sewer.

The following tables list the new rates as well as the impact to average ratepayers. The residential ‘discount tier’ for the first 8 units of usage [8 units x 748 gallons per unit = 5,984 gallons] remains in place.

Table 1: Total Change in Year-Over-Year Cost for Combined Water and Sewer Rates

Total change in average annual cost for various billing units
from fiscal year 2020 (FY20) to fiscal year 2021 (FY21)
(including base and volumetric charges)

Total units per bill (in CCF)1 FY20 FY21
Annual total Annual total Total Annual Change (FY20 to FY21) % change
15 (average condo unit)2 $ 742 $ 766 $24 3.23%
19 (average single family home)2 $ 950 $ 983 $33 3.47%
30 (average two-family home)2 $ 1,556 $ 1,615 $59 3.79%
42 (average three-family home)2 $ 2,162 $ 2,247 $85 3.93%
110 (average 8-unit apartment building)3 $ 5,802 $ 6,045 $243 4.19%

1 The examples were chosen in order to provide a range of property types in Somerville.
2 Based on billing analysis performed by Stantec Consulting Services Inc.
3 Based on the average usage of the applicable property type in Somerville

 

 

Table 2: FY21 Residential Volumetric Charges (Tri-Annual Bills)

    FY2021 Residential Volumetric Charges ($/billing unit*)
Tier Tier Range (per CCF) Water Sewer Combined
Discount rate 0-8 4.20 7.98 12.18
T1 9-13 4.68 8.87 13.55
T2 14-67 6.74 11.32 18.06
T3 68-133 7.06 11.87 18.93
T4 OVER 133 7.34 12.29 19.63

*One unit = 100 cubic feet (CCF) or 748 gallons of water

 

Table 3: FY21 Commercial Volumetric Charges (Bi-Monthly Bills)
 

    FY2020 Commercial Volumetric Charges ($/billing unit*)
Tier Tier Range (per CCF) Water Sewer Combined
T1 0-10 4.68 8.87 13.55
T2 11-100 6.74 11.32 18.06
T3 101-200 7.06 11.87 18.93
T4 OVER 200 7.34 12.29 19.63

*One unit = 100 cubic feet (CCF) or 748 gallons of water

Information Session

An information session and public hearing was held at 6 p.m. on Monday, April 22 at the Somerville High School Cafeteria at 81 Highland Ave. Click here to view a PDF of the presentation slides from the information session.

Accepted Rates

Pursuant to Chapter 11, Section 11-125 and Section 11-164 of the Code of Ordinances of the City of Somerville, the tables below outline the amended water and sewer volumetric rates for the Fiscal Year 2020 (FY20). Given the substantial need for investment in our aging and fragile water and sewer system and the increasingly strict regulatory environment we confront, the Administration’s original rate proposal, submitted on March 25, 2019, included increases of 6% for water and 7.5% for sewer. The Council rejected these rate increases on May 9, 2019.

Though the Administration continues to emphasize that the original rate proposal is the appropriate and responsible choice in light of our system needs, we now submit the following amended rate proposal:

  1. A 5% increase in water volumetric charges;
  2. A 5.5% increase in sewer volumetric charges;
  3. No change to existing base charges for both water and sewer; and,
  4. The creation of a Discount Tier for all ratepayers billed tri-annually that aims to provide particular relief to low-volume users.

The first table on the next page describes the updated residential tiers, which reflect the addition of the Discount Tier for any usage under 8 units [748 gallons per unit x 8 units, or 5,984 gallons of water].

If you have any questions, please contact me at [email protected].

For additional information about these water and sewer rate changes, please see the rate recommendation memorandum from our consultant, Woodard & Curran.

Accepted FY20 Residential Volumetric Charges (Tri-Annual Bills)

Residential

FY 2020 Volumetric Charges
($/billing unit*)

Tier

Usage
(units of 100 cubic feet)

Water

Sewer

Combined

Discount Rate
(New)

0-8

$3.91

$7.79

$11.70

T1

9-13

$4.35

$8.65

$13.00

T2

14-67

$6.27

$11.04

$17.31

T3

68-133

$6.57

$11.58

$18.15

T4 OVER 133

$6.83

$11.99 $18.82

*One unit = 100 cubic feet (CCF) or 748 gallons of water
 

Accepted FY20 Commercial Volumetric Charges (Bi-Monthly Bills)

Commercial

FY 2020 Volumetric Charges
($/billing unit*)

Tier

Usage
(units of 100 cubic feet)

Water

Sewer

Combined

T1

0-10

$4.35

$8.65

$13.00

T2

11-100

$6.27

$11.04

$17.31

T3

101-200

$6.57

$11.58

$18.15

T4 OVER 200

$6.83

$11.99 $18.82

*One unit = 100 cubic feet (CCF) or 748 gallons of water

Residential

FY2019 Volumetric Charges ($/unit)

Tier

Usage
(units of 100 cubic feet)

Water

Sewer

Combined

1

0-13

$4.14

$8.20

$12.34

2

14-67

$5.97

$10.46

$16.43

3

68-133

$6.26

$10.97

$17.23

4

OVER 133

$6.50

$11.36

$17.86

(100 cubic feet is equal to 748 gallons)

 

Commercial

FY2019 Volumetric Charges ($/unit)

Tier

Usage
(units of 100 cubic feet)

Water

Sewer

Combined

1

0-10

$4.14

$8.20

$12.34

2

11-100

$5.97

$10.46

$16.43

3

101-200

$6.26

$10.97

$17.23

4

OVER 200

$6.50

$11.36

$17.86

(100 cubic feet is equal to 748 gallons)

More Information

If you have any further questions, please contact the Water and Sewer Department at 617-625-6600 ext. 5850.

Individuals with disabilities who need auxiliary aids and services for effective communication, written materials in alternative formats, or reasonable modifications in policies and procedures, in order to access the programs and activities of the City of Somerville or to attend meetings, should contact should contact Nency Salamoun, at 617-625-6600 x2323 or [email protected]

FY18 Residential Volumetric Charges ($/100 cu. ft.)

100 cu. ft. = 748 gallons

Tier Usage in Units of 100 cu. ft. Water Sewer Combined
1 0-13 $4.14 $7.81 $11.95
2 14-67 $5.97 $9.97 $15.94
3 68-133 $6.26 $10.45 $16.71
4 134+ $6.50 $10.82 $17.32

On July 1, 2016 the City of Somerville Water & Sewer Department instituted a base monthly water connection charge. This amount is factored based upon meter size as shown in the following table. For example, an account with a 5/8” meter will be billed $5.00 per month or $20.00 per bill based on a four month, tri-annual billing cycle. Commercial accounts will continue to bill bi-monthly, thus the appropriate base charge will be applied twice a billing cycle.

Tri-Annual Residential Base Water Charge (Every 4 Months)

Meter Size Monthly Charge Per-Bill Charge
5/8" $5 $20
3/4" $5 $20
1" $5 $20
1-1/12" $10 $40
2" $16 $64
3" $30 $120
4" $50 $200
6"+ $100 $400

The City has also instituted a base monthly sewer charge of $10 per month, adjusted to reflect the same meter equivalent adjustments.

Tri-Annual Residential Base Sewer Charge (Every 4 Months)

Meter Size Monthly Charge Per-Bill Charge
5/8" $10 $40
3/4" $10 $40
1" $10 $40
1-1/12" $20 $80
2" $32 $128
3" $60 $240
4" $100 $400
6"+ $200 $800

 

It should be noted that the majority of residential accounts have either 5/8”, 3/4” or 1” meters and thus will fall into the lowest base charge meter factor. This charge will remain level over five years. Additionally, they incorporate the American Water Works Association Standard factors to better align City practices with industry guidelines.

FY18 Commercial Volumetric Charges ($/100 cu. ft.)

100 cu. ft. = 748 gallons

Tier Usage in Units of 100 cu. ft. Water Sewer Combined
1 0-10 $4.14 $7.81 $11.95
2 11-100 $5.97 $9.97 $15.94
3 101-200 $6.26 $10.45 $16.71
4 201+ $6.50 $10.82 $17.32

On July 1, 2016 the City of Somerville Water & Sewer Department instituted a base monthly water connection charge. This amount is factored based upon meter size as shown in the following table. For example, an account with a 5/8” meter will be billed $5.00 per month or $20.00 per bill based on a four month, tri-annual billing cycle. Commercial accounts will continue to bill bi-monthly, thus the appropriate base charge will be applied twice a billing cycle.

Bimonthly Commercial Base Water Charge (Every 6 Months)

Meter Size Monthly Charge Per-Bill Charge
5/8" $5 $10
3/4" $5 $10
1" $5 $10
1-1/12" $10 $20
2" $16 $32
3" $30 $60
4" $50 $100
6"+ $100 $200

The City has also instituted a base monthly sewer charge of $10 per month, adjusted to reflect the same meter equivalent adjustments.

Bimonthly Commercial Base Sewer Charge (Per-Bill Charge)

Meter Size Monthly Charge Per-Bill Charge
5/8" $10 $20
3/4" $10 $20
1" $10 $20
1-1/12" $20 $40
2" $32 $64
3" $60 $120
4" $100 $200
6"+ $200 $400

 

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