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.

What has SMWD done to reduce costs?

Reduce energy costs by $400,000 with solar arrayReduced operational costs by $500,000 through operational and technology efficienciesReduced imported water costs by $2 million by using recycled water

  1. Residential Customers
  2. Commercial Customers
  3. Recycled Water Customer

Residential Customers

SMWD Bill = Commodity + Fixed + Power Surcharge

Tier 1 & Tier 2

Drinking (Potable) Water - Residential Customers - Single Family

Potable Water Commodity Charge ($/CCF) – Single-FamilyPotable Water Commodity Charge ($/CCF) – Single-Family
*MWD pass-through charge

Potable Water Commodity Charge ($/CCF) – Multi-Family

Potable Water Commodity Charge ($/CCF) – Multi-Family*CCF = 100 cubic feet/748 gallons or one “unit”

Potable Water Base Charge for all resident customers

1 ½”
2 ½”

*The majority of residential customers have ¾ inch meters

Wastewater - Residential Customers

  • Wastewater - Commodity Charge ($/CCF)
    • $0.95
      *single-family maximum of 9 CCF
      *multi-family maximum of 7 CCF
  • Wastewater – Base Charge ($ per meter)
    • $29.38

Power Surcharge – Residential Customers

Power Surcharge – Residential Customers

Zones are based on elevation


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.