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Water Rates

 

 
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New water rates for Tacoma Water go into effect on January 1, 2018. City of Tacoma residents can expect an average increase of $1.49/month, and Tacoma Water customers outside Tacoma can expect an average increase of $1.79/month. This is the second of two rate increases for Tacoma Water that were approved by the Public Utility Board and Tacoma City Council in 2017.

While we offer some of the lowest rates in the region at approximately 40% lower than Seattle and Bellevue, we understand that rate increases are challenging for everyone. We strategically manage our finances to help keep rates as low as possible, and we only bill customers for the revenue required to run our businesses.

At Tacoma Water, safety and reliability are our highest priorities and govern every decision we make. We provide direct service to more than 300,000 people in the City of Tacoma, Pierce and King counties, and several other municipal water suppliers. 

Most of our drinking water comes from the Green River in south King County. Our primary water supply is the unfiltered Green River, which began supplying Tacoma its water in 1913. With the new Green River filtration facility, filtering and disinfecting the water supply is our primary water treatment process. This helps protect against contaminants, improves taste and clarity, reduces the amount of sand and silt entering the pipes and minimizes natural organic material in the water.

 
 


Tacoma Water Rates


Tacoma Water is pleased to offer some of the lowest rates in the region and, as a public utility, we only bill customers for the revenue required to run our business and rates are based on the cost to serve each customer class. Rate increases help cover the costs associated with managing our aging infrastructure and investing in new facilities.

Residential water rates will increase by 4%, effective January 1, 2018. The average consumer will see an increase of:

  • $1.49/month – (Inside the City of Tacoma
  • $1.79/month – (Outside Tacoma)

For more detailed information about water regulation and rates, please refer to Water Regulations and Rates, Chapter 12.10 of the Tacoma Municipal Code.   

City of Tacoma Environmental Services

In Tacoma, garbage, surface water and sewer water are provided by the city. While you see these services on your bill, we are not involved in setting their rates. They operate independently of us, but, just like TPU, City Council has final approval on their rates. We simply provide the billing and customer services functions for efficiency.

For questions about environmental services, please visit https://www.cityoftacoma.org/government/city_departments/environmentalservices/.


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Frequently Asked Questions


How much are rates increasing?

Residential water rates will increase by 4%, effective January 1, 2018. The average consumer will see an increase of:

  • $1.49/month – (Inside the City of Tacoma
  • $1.79/month – (Outside Tacoma)

Click here to learn about ways you can help lower your water bill.

Why are rates increasing?

Tacoma Water is pleased to offer some of the lowest rates in the region and, as a public utility, we only bill customers for the revenue required to run our business and rates are based on the cost to serve each customer class. Rate increases help cover the costs associated with managing our aging infrastructure and investing in new facilities.

What do water rates pay for?

As a public utility, we only bill customers for the revenue required to run our business and rates are based on the cost to serve each customer class. Rate increases help cover increasing costs for infrastructure improvements, regulatory requirements and increasing expenditures, among other things. 

It is our fiduciary duty to manage our resources and investments well, and because of our success, we’re able to borrow money at the lowest rates possible when needed, which helps stabilize our rates. 

How are rates calculated?

Tacoma Water's residential rates vary inside and outside the Tacoma city limits. In each case, however, there is a monthly customer service charge based on the size of the water meter, plus a charge for the amount of water used. 

Water use is measured in units of cubic feet (CCF). One unit is about 748 gallons of water. The cost per unit of water is determined by the time of year, amount used and where you live.  

Tacoma Water charges a higher rate for water use above five units from June 1 through September 30. This difference reflects the higher cost of providing water during the summer and is also designed to encourage water conservation. 

What water rates don’t include:

In Tacoma, garbage, surface water and sewer water are provided by the city. While you see these services on your bill, we are not involved in setting their rates. They operate independently of us, but City Council has final approval on their rates as well. We simply provide the billing and customer services functions for efficiency. 

For questions about environmental services, please visit https://www.cityoftacoma.org/government/city_departments/environmentalservices/. 

Billing questions

For more information about your water bill, please call (253) 502-8600.


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Ways to Lower Your Water Bill


TPU's conservation programs can help you save the amount you use and lower you bill. In addition, there additional ways to save such as:

  • Install water-efficient products – this is one of the easiest, inexpensive ways to save water and energy.  Not only will you save water and lower your water bill, but this can also help reduce your electric bill. 
  • Find and fix leaks - More than one trillion gallons of water are wasted in U.S. homes each year from easy-to-fix leaks. A leak at a rate of one drop per second can cost you an extra $1.38 per month, while a leaking water pipe wasting 250 gallons per day can cost you an extra $54.62 per month.

Click here to learn about ways you can help lower your water bill.

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