Residential customers pay an average increase of $1/month.
While we offer some of the lowest rates in the region, we understand that rate increases can be challenging. 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
Residential water rates increased by 2.9%, effective January 1, 2019.
Other charges and fees may apply, such as late fees or surcharges for water system acquisitions.
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/
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I know what size water meter I have?
The average residential water meter size is 5/8. If you would like to find out the size of your meter, you can contact Customer Services at 253-502-8600.
- 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. Rates help cover increasing costs for infrastructure improvements, regulatory requirements, public fire protection and increasing expenditures, among other things that make it possible for us to provide you with ample, clean drinking water.
- Where is the Hydrant Service Fee on my bill?
Beginning in 2019, public fire protection costs will be embedded into your fixed charge and you will no longer see “Hydrant Service Fee” as a separate line item on the bill. For residential customers outside the City of Tacoma, the “Historical Service Component” of public fire protection costs (about $1.90 per month) will be retired as these costs were fully recovered in 2018.
- I’m not sure how much a CCF is. What is typical water consumption like?
CCF stands for 100 cubic feet of water, which is about 748 gallons. The average customer inside the City of Tacoma uses approximately 7 CCF per month, or 5,236 gallons. Customers outside the City of Tacoma use slightly more, closer to approximately 9 CCF per month, or 6,732 gallons.
- If I go over 5 CCF in the summer, do I pay the Tier 2 rate for all the water I used?
The cost per CCF of water is determined by the time of year, the amount used, and where you live. In the summer, the first 5 CCF will be billed at the Tier 1 rate, and any water consumed in excess of the initial 5 CCF will be billed at the Tier 2 rate.
- Why does Tacoma Water have two different usage rates in the summer?
The inclining rate structure reflects the higher cost of providing water during the summer and is also designed to encourage water conservation.
- How can I reduce my water consumption?
There are several ways you can conserve water, especially in the summer:
- How can I lower my water bill?
TPU provides several resources to 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.