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2020 Utility Rates

As part of the 2020 budget process, the Boulder City Council approved utility rates changes that will adjust customers’ monthly charges for water, wastewater, stormwater and flood management services. Since these public services are not funded by tax dollars, they are supported by utility rates and fees paid to three separate “enterprise funds.”

Utility rates are increased in most years to maintain service levels as the costs of various materials and services (such as electricity and construction materials) escalate. For a single-family residence, the rate will increase approximately $5.66 per month in 2020. Detailed information on rates can be found here.

The rate changes will be effective Jan. 1, 2020.

If you have any questions about impacts to your utility rates or monthly bill, please contact the city’s Utility Billing Office at 303-441-3260 and a customer service representative will assist you.

Why are my rates increasing?

Water (Domestic and Irrigation) 7%

A recent study estimated that over the next 25 years the United States must invest more than $1 trillion in underground water infrastructure. To use a local example, work continues on the Barker Gravity Pipeline, which supplies approximately one third of the city’s total water supply. This critical infrastructure is over 100 years old, and complete replacement is planned over a 12-year period.

The city continues to invest in this critical need. Our tap water not only delivers safe drinking water but also supports fire protection, the economy and the quality of life we enjoy. 

Wastewater (Sanitary Sewer) 5%

Nationally, many sanitary sewer pipes were installed shortly after World War II, and they are nearing the end of their service life. Most of the city's sanitary sewer lines were installed in the 1960s or earlier. Rehabilitation of the city’s sanitary sewer system continues to be a key area of focus for wastewater funds, along with planned regulatory compliance projects at the Water Resource Recovery Facility.

Wastewater quantity charges for residential customers are billed based on Average Winter Consumption (average use from December through March) or actual water use, whichever is less. The wastewater service charge is set at a fixed monthly rate based on your water meter size. Non-residential customers are billed according to their water budget option.

Stormwater and Flood Management 7%

The EPA has reported that $42 billion dollars is needed for national stormwater management. Locally, the city has 15 major drainageways, 160 miles of storm drain pipes and 4,800 catch basins that need to be maintained.

The stormwater/flood management fee is a fixed monthly charge for customers within the city limits. Single-family residential customers pay a fee based on their lot size. All other customers pay an area charge based on the impervious area (driveways, parking lots, etc.) square footage of their lot. This fee is used to support flood infrastructure, regulatory compliance, water quality monitoring, hazard mitigation and stormwater quality education programs.