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Sewer Rate Increase Implemented
New rates effective July 22, 2009

Last year, Redwood City let its sewer customers know that gradual sewer rate adjustments would be required for the coming years. In keeping with that requirement, this year increases to sewer bills and charges were approved in order to fund necessary rebuilding of aging facilities, meet new mandated regulatory permit requirements, and keep rates aligned with the actual cost of providing sewer service in our community.

Click here for updated sewer service rates.

Why is this sewer rate increase necessary?
The City’s sewer utility is self-supporting, which means that it is funded primarily by sewer service charges to customers. Sewer rates must be adequate to fund the operations, maintenance, and capital improvement expenses of the City’s collection system, as well as for the regional wastewater treatment plant.

Over the coming years, increased funding is necessary for the repair and replacement of aging City sewer infrastructure - many of the City’s sewer pipelines are over 70 years old and approaching the end of their useful life. This will help to ensure that the community continues to have safe and reliable sewer service. The City also faces new costs for state-mandated preventive maintenance programs.

Additionally, the South Bayside System Authority (SBSA) (a regional wastewater treatment facility where Redwood City’s waste water is treated) is embarking on over $340 million of long-term capital needs projects. Based on Redwood City’s share of wastewater flow to the SBSA facility, the City will be required to fund about $94 million in projects at the treatment plant over the next decade, including $72 million of high-priority projects within five years. These projects are needed to replace old facilities and enable the regional sewer plant to meet new, stricter wastewater permit requirements. For information about SBSA capital replacement program, visit the website at www.sbsa.org/

What is the approval process for the proposed sewer rate increase?
The City Council considered this proposed sewer rate increase at a public hearing on June 1st, 2009, and gave it final approval at a public meeting on June 22, 2009. The City mailed out public hearing notices to all its sewer customers, which is required by law. If more than 50% of our sewer customers formally protest the rate increase, then the increase would not have taken place.

The new rates became effective on July 22nd, 2009. All bills generated on or after that date are impacted by the new rates. Because of our bi-monthly billing cycle, for some customers the new rates will apply to sewer services provided as of July 1st.

Background
Redwood City provides wastewater service to approximately 26,500 residential and 1,500 commercial customers located in and around the City. Wastewater is collected via a network of 192 miles of sewer pipelines and 31 sanitary sewer pump stations, and is then transported to the SBSA for treatment and disposal.

The City has a comprehensive, long-term financial plan for the sewer utility. A gradual phasing-in of a series of modest sewer rate increases started in 2007, and this year that gradual increase will continue, in order to meet long- term operating and capital needs.

Click here for updated sewer service rates.

For more information on sewer and wasterwater issues, please feel free to contact our Public Works staff at 650-780-7464, or send an email to mharang@redwoodcity.org

(Go to Sewer Services main page)



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