4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs

San Diego's sewer and water rates due to climb

Will single-family homes or apartment dwellers pay most?

Single families' water rates will increase by 16.7 percent.
Single families' water rates will increase by 16.7 percent.

San Diego's sewer rates haven't gone up in ten years. Now, the city is playing catch up with a four-year string of rate hikes they say is needed to maintain the aging system, and fund the Pure Water project.

The city says the increase was long overdue. But so are the unpaid water bills of thousands of lower income San Diegans. California's pandemic water shutoff moratorium is set to end September 30.

"Our workers have brought in overdue bills ranging from $800 to $3,000 dollars, said Norma Sanchez, with the San Diego Workers Benefit Council, which represents low paid workers.

"Over 11,200 San Diegans each owe more than $1,000 dollars alone in overdue water bills," she told the city council last week before they approved a wastewater rate increase that will start at five percent in January 2022.

Point Loma wastewater plant

From there, sewer rates just keep rising; up to four percent in 2023 and 2024, and up to three percent in 2025. Water rates will increase three percent due to the County Water Authority having raised rates for imported water.

Workers say their wages can't keep up.

Council members blamed the past administration for leaving them the dirty work of raising rates, which should have happened as small increases over time rather than a "shock event." A wastewater cost of service study hasn't been updated since 2007.

A recent study the city conducted on sewer rates found that without increases, there won't be enough revenue for necessary wastewater and recycled water services between 2022 and 2025.

All wastewater from San Diego and several surrounding municipalities goes to pump station 2 on Harbor Drive, then to the top of Pt. Loma where "gravity takes hold," the city says, as the sludge moves into the treatment plant.

The city is using pumps that are about 29 years past their expected useful life. A burst pipe or broken pump could back up the entire system and spew raw sewage into waterways.

"The rent is too damn high, wages are too damn low," said councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera. "Unfortunately, we have to properly fund our infrastructure," which will save ratepayers money in the long run.

"We're also going to be addressing a very inequitable way residents have been subsidizing industrial customers for decades now."

The increases will affect different ratepaying classes differently. Single families, for example, represent over 80 percent of customers, and their rates will see the greatest climb, increasing as a whole by 16.7 percent, said Lisa Celaya, assistant director of public utilities.

"Conversely, the multifamily class will decrease as a whole by five percent."

Robert Campbell, a consultant for CalWest apartments, disputed the city's calculations, saying the water rate doesn't properly account for outdoor water use, which will result in overcharges.

CalWest has 12 multifamily complexes within the city. Most tenants are low income, and get their utility bills from CalWest separate from their rent.

Single family customers are billed during their lowest water use, the winter monitoring period, Campbell said. But no such distinction is made for multifamily customers in calculating outdoor irrigation that doesn't return to the system. "This disadvantages multifamily residents to the detriment of mostly the low income."

Councilmember Raul Campillo encouraged everyone who needs help with unpaid water bills to go to the San Diego Housing Commission website to apply for assistance with past utility bills.

"The money is there right now."

Ceyala said the city is also actively working with the state, and anticipates additional funds to address any past non-payments. More information on that will be available in late fall or early winter.

Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all

Previous article

The dine-in ghost kitchens of Barrio Food Hub

Dozens of virtual brands operate in a single building, and it has a parklet
Next Article

Villa Montezuma re-opens one more time

Queen Anne home invites spookiness – including Edgar Allan Poe
Single families' water rates will increase by 16.7 percent.
Single families' water rates will increase by 16.7 percent.

San Diego's sewer rates haven't gone up in ten years. Now, the city is playing catch up with a four-year string of rate hikes they say is needed to maintain the aging system, and fund the Pure Water project.

The city says the increase was long overdue. But so are the unpaid water bills of thousands of lower income San Diegans. California's pandemic water shutoff moratorium is set to end September 30.

"Our workers have brought in overdue bills ranging from $800 to $3,000 dollars, said Norma Sanchez, with the San Diego Workers Benefit Council, which represents low paid workers.

"Over 11,200 San Diegans each owe more than $1,000 dollars alone in overdue water bills," she told the city council last week before they approved a wastewater rate increase that will start at five percent in January 2022.

Point Loma wastewater plant

From there, sewer rates just keep rising; up to four percent in 2023 and 2024, and up to three percent in 2025. Water rates will increase three percent due to the County Water Authority having raised rates for imported water.

Workers say their wages can't keep up.

Council members blamed the past administration for leaving them the dirty work of raising rates, which should have happened as small increases over time rather than a "shock event." A wastewater cost of service study hasn't been updated since 2007.

A recent study the city conducted on sewer rates found that without increases, there won't be enough revenue for necessary wastewater and recycled water services between 2022 and 2025.

All wastewater from San Diego and several surrounding municipalities goes to pump station 2 on Harbor Drive, then to the top of Pt. Loma where "gravity takes hold," the city says, as the sludge moves into the treatment plant.

The city is using pumps that are about 29 years past their expected useful life. A burst pipe or broken pump could back up the entire system and spew raw sewage into waterways.

"The rent is too damn high, wages are too damn low," said councilmember Sean Elo-Rivera. "Unfortunately, we have to properly fund our infrastructure," which will save ratepayers money in the long run.

"We're also going to be addressing a very inequitable way residents have been subsidizing industrial customers for decades now."

The increases will affect different ratepaying classes differently. Single families, for example, represent over 80 percent of customers, and their rates will see the greatest climb, increasing as a whole by 16.7 percent, said Lisa Celaya, assistant director of public utilities.

"Conversely, the multifamily class will decrease as a whole by five percent."

Robert Campbell, a consultant for CalWest apartments, disputed the city's calculations, saying the water rate doesn't properly account for outdoor water use, which will result in overcharges.

CalWest has 12 multifamily complexes within the city. Most tenants are low income, and get their utility bills from CalWest separate from their rent.

Single family customers are billed during their lowest water use, the winter monitoring period, Campbell said. But no such distinction is made for multifamily customers in calculating outdoor irrigation that doesn't return to the system. "This disadvantages multifamily residents to the detriment of mostly the low income."

Councilmember Raul Campillo encouraged everyone who needs help with unpaid water bills to go to the San Diego Housing Commission website to apply for assistance with past utility bills.

"The money is there right now."

Ceyala said the city is also actively working with the state, and anticipates additional funds to address any past non-payments. More information on that will be available in late fall or early winter.

Sponsored
Here's something you might be interested in.
Submit a free classified
or view all
Previous article

Here’s what vegans were lining up for in Encinitas

The new game in plant-based meats is pork… and imitation spiced ham
Next Article

Ideal round of golf: “any Wednesday evening at Mission Bay with three friends and 12 Stellas”

Lowest score wins
Comments
2

Yet another Brown Act problem, this time by Caltrans and the City of $D! Noticing of one rate increase arrived via USPS AFTER the meeting (I wonder WHY).

and now this:

After years of public meetings, now at the last second, a modification to the EW bike route removes 2 parking spaces and replaces them with paving without any notice to residents or property owners!

Sept. 29, 2021

Excellent catch, Founder. Could you post photos of the notice and postage cancellation from the envelope it came in here?

However, not sure where the "bike routes" reference is coming from?

Oct. 1, 2021

Sign in to comment

Sign in

Ask a Hipster — Advice you didn't know you needed Big Screen — Movie commentary Blurt — Music's inside track Booze News — San Diego spirits Classical Music — Immortal beauty Classifieds — Free and easy Cover Stories — Front-page features Drinks All Around — Bartenders' drink recipes Excerpts — Literary and spiritual excerpts Feast! — Food & drink reviews Feature Stories — Local news & stories From the Archives — Spotlight on the past Golden Dreams — Talk of the town Letters — Our inbox [email protected] — Local movie buffs share favorites Movie Reviews — Our critics' picks and pans Musician Interviews — Up close with local artists Neighborhood News from Stringers — Hyperlocal news News Ticker — News & politics Obermeyer — San Diego politics illustrated Outdoors — Weekly changes in flora and fauna Overheard in San Diego — Eavesdropping illustrated Poetry — The old and the new Reader Travel — Travel section built by travelers Reading — The hunt for intellectuals Roam-O-Rama — SoCal's best hiking/biking trails San Diego Beer — Inside San Diego suds SD on the QT — Almost factual news Sheep and Goats — Places of worship Special Issues — The best of Street Style — San Diego streets have style Surf Diego — Real stories from those braving the waves Tin Fork — Silver spoon alternative Under the Radar — Matt Potter's undercover work Unforgettable — Long-ago San Diego Unreal Estate — San Diego's priciest pads Your Week — Daily event picks
4S Ranch Allied Gardens Alpine Baja Balboa Park Bankers Hill Barrio Logan Bay Ho Bay Park Black Mountain Ranch Blossom Valley Bonita Bonsall Borrego Springs Boulevard Campo Cardiff-by-the-Sea Carlsbad Carmel Mountain Carmel Valley Chollas View Chula Vista City College City Heights Clairemont College Area Coronado CSU San Marcos Cuyamaca College Del Cerro Del Mar Descanso Downtown San Diego Eastlake East Village El Cajon Emerald Hills Encanto Encinitas Escondido Fallbrook Fletcher Hills Golden Hill Grant Hill Grantville Grossmont College Guatay Harbor Island Hillcrest Imperial Beach Imperial Valley Jacumba Jamacha-Lomita Jamul Julian Kearny Mesa Kensington La Jolla Lakeside La Mesa Lemon Grove Leucadia Liberty Station Lincoln Acres Lincoln Park Linda Vista Little Italy Logan Heights Mesa College Midway District MiraCosta College Miramar Miramar College Mira Mesa Mission Beach Mission Hills Mission Valley Mountain View Mount Hope Mount Laguna National City Nestor Normal Heights North Park Oak Park Ocean Beach Oceanside Old Town Otay Mesa Pacific Beach Pala Palomar College Palomar Mountain Paradise Hills Pauma Valley Pine Valley Point Loma Point Loma Nazarene Potrero Poway Rainbow Ramona Rancho Bernardo Rancho Penasquitos Rancho San Diego Rancho Santa Fe Rolando San Carlos San Marcos San Onofre Santa Ysabel Santee San Ysidro Scripps Ranch SDSU Serra Mesa Shelltown Shelter Island Sherman Heights Skyline Solana Beach Sorrento Valley Southcrest South Park Southwestern College Spring Valley Stockton Talmadge Temecula Tierrasanta Tijuana UCSD University City University Heights USD Valencia Park Valley Center Vista Warner Springs
Close