2019 Utility Rates
As part of the 2019 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. The 2019 rates are also impacted by the results of a recent rate structure study. More information on rate structure changes can be found here. For a single-family residence, the rate will increase approximately $5 per month in 2019. Detailed information on rates can be found here.
The rate changes will be effective Jan. 1, 2019.
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, the Barker Gravity Pipeline is over 100 years old and carries nearly a third of Boulder’s water supply. Your fees will go to support this and other important pipeline and plant projects, and other critical maintenance on the system.
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. Locally, 64 percent of sanitary sewer lines were installed in the 1960s or earlier. Work continues on the city's sanitary sewer condition assessment and rehabilitation/replacement programs. In 2016, 50 percent of the pipes were cleaned and inspected. By the end of 2017, 70 percent of the pipes will have been cleaned and inspected. The project is expected to reach 100 percent by August 2018.
Wastewater quality 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. One key rate structure change is recovering more of the wastewater utility costs from the fixed service charge and decreasing the charge based on volume. This change recognizes the nature of utility expenses being primarily fixed costs.
Stormwater and Flood Management 5%
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' fees are individually calculated according to the runoff generated from their lot. The fee is used to support flood infrastructure, regulatory compliance, water quality monitoring and hazard, and stormwater quality education programs.