Rates

The District's water and wastewater rate structure contains three categories of charges: 

Commodity Charge - cost to buy or produce water

Fixed Monthly Base Charge - costs for operations, facilities and capital

Power Surcharge - costs to pump water to the varying elevations in the service area

The commodity charges are based on the actual demands placed on the water and wastewater utility and customers are charged per unit of water used.

Since all customers benefit from the pipes, pumps, reservoirs, and future water reliability programs, these infrastructure costs are recovered by the fixed base charges and are based on the size of the water meter servicing a property; the majority of residential customers have 3/4" or 1" meters.


2019 WATER RATES - Effective April 1, 2019

Join us for an informational meeting to learn more about the proposed rate changes. 

Tuesday, March 5, 2019 at 7 p.m.
Canyon House, Rancho Mission Viejo

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 at 5:30 p.m.
Norman P. Murray Center, Mission Viejo

Each year, Santa Margarita Water District reviews and evaluates its budget, operations, and system needs and requirements. The proposed rates will help ensure the District fully recovers its costs to provide services, maintains its infrastructure, invests in locally-controlled water sources, encourages water use efficiency, and maintains its long-term fiscal stability. 

The District is also simplifying the rate tier structures. After a detailed evaluation of the rate structure, the District is reducing the number of tiers from five to four for residential customers. 

The following are the District's proposed rates for residential customers to be effective on April 1, 2019 and seen on bills starting in May. 


RESIDENTIAL CUSTOMERS


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DRINKING (POTABLE) WATER - COMMODITY CHARGE

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DRINKING (POTABLE) WATER - FIXED MONTHLY BASE CHARGE

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*Most customers have a 3/4 or 1" water meter. 


WASTEWATER COMMODITY CHARGE & FIXED CHARGE ($/CCF)

Current Commodity Charge: $1.03    
Proposed Commodity Charge: $0.95

Current Fixed Charge: $25.51
Proposed Fixed Charge: $29.38


POWER SURCHARGES (PER CCF)

Certain customers are in areas of the District that require more power to pump water for delivery. The District applies a Power Surcharge to cover the additional pumping costs. 

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WATER BUDGETS  

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Residential water budgets comprise both indoor and outdoor budgets. Each single-family residential customer is allocated a reasonable amount of water for their monthly use, split into indoor and outdoor water budgets. Each property has a water budget specific to its irrigable area.

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Daily weather (Evapotranspiration, ET)

For residential customers, the rate structure for the commodity charge has four tiers. as of April 1, 2019. Residential customers who stay within their water budget remain in the first two tiers:

Tier 1: Indoor Budget*
Tier 2: Outdoor Budget*
Tier 3: 101-200%
Tier 4: 200+%

*Tiers 1 & 2 equal the total water budget


Tier Allocations for Multi-Family

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IRRIGATION CUSTOMER

The District's water and wastewater rate structure contains three categories of charges: 

Commodity Charge - cost to buy or produce water

Fixed Monthly Base Charge - costs for operations, facilities and capital

Power Surcharge - costs to pump water to the varying elevations in the service area


WATER BUDGETS 

Potable and recycled water irrigation customers only have an outdoor budget. Outdoor budgets are billed at rates that recover the proportionally higher costs to produce and delivery water. Customers who exceed their outdoor budget are billed at higher rates associated with higher tiers depending on how much excess water is used. 


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IRRIGATION POTABLE/DOMESTIC - COMMODITY RATES

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RECYCLED WATER  - COMMODITY RATES

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ALL IRRIGATION CUSTOMERS - FIXED MONTHLY CHARGES

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ALL IRRIGATION CUSTOMERS - POWER SURCHARGES (PER CCF)

Certain customers are in areas of the District that require more power to pump water for delivery. The District applies a Power Surcharge to cover the additional pumping costs.

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COMMERCIAL CUSTOMERS

The District's water and wastewater rate structure contains three categories of charges: 

Commodity Charge - cost to buy or produce water

Fixed Monthly Base Charge - costs for operations, facilities and capital

Power Surcharge - costs to pump water to the varying elevations in the service area



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POTABLE WATER - COMMODITY 

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POTABLE WATER - FIXED 

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WASTEWATER - COMMODITY 

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WASTEWATER - FIXED 

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POWER SURCHARGES (PER CCF)

Certain customers are in areas of the District that require more power to pump water for delivery. The District applies a Power Surcharge to cover the additional pumping costs.

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WATER & WASTEWATER WHOLESALE PASS THROUGH 

The District buys wholesale water, receives wastewater treatment, and purchases power from outside agencies and vendors. We are subject to changes in the pricing for these services. 

  • Potable water is purchased from the Municipal Water District of Orange County (MWDOC) which purchases its water from the Metropolitan Water of District of Southern California (MET). 
  • Wholesale wastewater treatment from South Orange County Wastewater Authority (SOCWA) and other regional services. 
  • Energy is purchased from San Diego Gas & Electric and Southern California Edison. 

Santa Margarita Water District anticipates that rates it pays for wholesale water, wastewater, and energy will increase over the next five years. Increases that the District incurs will be passed through to its customers. 


WHAT HAVE WE DONE TO REDUCE COSTS?

  • Reduced energy costs by $400,000 with solar array
  • Reduced operational costs by $500,000 through operational and technology efficiencies
  • Reduced imported water costs by $2 million by using recycled water


OUR COSTS

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