SRRRA Sewer Rate Adjustment
Upcoming sewer rate adjustment for Murrieta customers
Effective for all bills issued on or after Dec. 1, 2023
Western Water is passing through a necessary rate adjustment to its Murrieta sewer customers due to increased charges imposed by the Santa Rosa Regional Resources Authority (SRRRA) sewage treatment facility. SRRRA is one of the third-party sewer treatment providers Western Water uses to serve its Murrieta customers.
Starting with bills issued on or after Dec. 1, 2023, certain Western Water customers in Murrieta will notice a monthly sewer rate increase of $2.87 per residence (or per Equivalent Dwelling Unit* for commercial customers). This change primarily addresses the unanticipated escalating labor and energy costs essential for sewage treated by SRRRA.
We want to assure you that our primary goal remains to ensure that all Western Water customers in the Murrieta service area continue to benefit from high-quality and dependable sewer service.
The sewage from most of Western Water customers in Murrieta is sent to the SRRRA treatment facility. When setting multi-year sewer rates in 2021, Western Water had to estimate future treatment costs from SRRRA. However, in June 2023, the rates adopted by SRRRA's Board of Directors exceeded our projections, primarily due to rising energy and labor costs. Unfortunately, Western Water does not have control over these costs, which are established by SRRRA’s board based on budgeted operating costs. All revenues collected through sewer rates are used to cover costs needed to provide reliable sewer service within the Murrieta service area.
Western Water's board approved the authority to pass through these rising costs to our customers during the rate adoption process in 2021, as is allowed by California law.
What does this mean for you?
Starting Dec. 1, 2023, customer sewer rates per Equivalent Dwelling Unit (EDU)* per month will increase by $2.87.
*One EDU represents the sewer quantity an average single-family residential customer contributes to the sewer system. Our commercial customers are assigned EDUs based on their anticipated peak sewer flows in comparison to an average single-family residential customer.
|Rate per EDU per Month||Current Rate||Rate Effective|
December 1, 2023
|Murrieta Sewer Service Area – SRRRA Sewer Treatment Facility||$44.01||$46.88||$2.87|
Frequently Asked Questions
- Sewer rates were adopted in 2021 with effective dates on July 1, 2021, 2022, 2023 and 2024. Why is Western Water adjusting rates now in the middle of the four years?
Although multi-year sewer rates were adopted in 2021, the July 1, 2023, rate is no longer sufficient to cover rising costs from Western Water’s third-party sewer treatment provider in Murrieta. There are several factors that affect sewer rates, including rising labor costs and increasing energy expenses needed for sewer treatment. In June 2023, SRRRA determined that their current rates charged to Western Water were insufficient to cover the expenses of providing sewer services. The adjusted costs from SRRRA came in higher than Western Water anticipated during the 2021 rate adoption process, and in fall 2023, Western Water identified a need for a sewer rate increase to ensure financial stability and the ability to continue providing high-quality sewer services. These updated changes now accurately represent your sewer collection and treatment costs.
The rate increase is authorized in Resolution 3165, which was adopted by the Western Water Board of Directors in 2021. This resolution gives the General Manager the authority to adjust rates within defined limits. Specifically, any rate increase from third-party service providers is capped at a maximum of 12 percent above the current rate and can't exceed the actual cost of providing sewer service.
Future rate adjustments may be necessary if third-party sewer treatment costs continue to rise higher than anticipated.
Western Water offers bill payment assistance to qualified low-income residential water and sewer customers. Income-qualified customers can receive up to $150, or the total past due amount due on the bill, whichever is less, once per 12-month period. For more information, visit our website at https://www.wmwd.com/394/Payment-Assistance.
Need more time to pay your bill? Email Customer Service or call 951.571.7104 before your bill is past due. Our Customer Service team will review your account for payment arrangement eligibility.
Western Water's Customer Service team is available Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
We are committed to providing our customers with resources for support and financial aid. Customers can apply for the Low-Income Household Water Assistance Program (LIHWAP): This program is federally funded and offers one-time support to help low-income households pay their residential sewer and water bills to keep their water on. Customers are eligible if their total household gross income is at or below 60% of the State Median Income, or if a household member is a current recipient of CalFresh, CalWORKs, or the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP). To apply, visit the LIHWAP website or call 916.576.7109.