To ensure we can continue to invest in a secure water future, The District is reviewing its financial health in 2019 by developing a financial plan and rate study to evaluate our water and wastewater rates. The financial plan will help us understand how much revenue we need and when we’ll need it.
The District has initiated the rate study to modernize and simplify the rate structure and ensure we keep rates fair, equitable, and tied to the demand customers place on our water system. We are reviewing our cost to provide water service per customer class (residential, multi-family, industrial, etc.) and whether the revenue coming from those customer classes aligns with the costs to serve them.
Water utilities conduct rate studies as a best practice to ensure that the utility’s financial health is maintained and that the utility is setting a course toward meeting future financial obligations. The rate study may show us that to maintain our water system in the future we need additional revenue. It is critically important that The District continue to re-invest in its water infrastructure to keep pace with inflation and other cost increases.
The water bill you pay is an investment in our water future, to ensure we can continue to provide you—and generations to come—with the high-quality water service you receive today. We receive no revenue from tax dollars. Our rates are based on the costs to purchase and deliver water and sewer services to you. We continually reinvest the money we get from your water bill to maintain and upgrade the pipes, pump stations and other infrastructure that allow us to deliver safe, reliable water, and remove wastewater.
A rate structure is how you are charged for water and wastewater services. The rate is the amount you are charged. As The District has expanded over the past two decades, we have gradually absorbed a variety of rate structures and funding models to avoid disruptions in customer service or billing. As a result, your bill may consist of several different charges depending on your location.
In general, The District’s rate structure for both water and wastewater is made up of a service charge plus a volumetric water usage rate based on how many gallons of water you use. The service charge covers the cost of billing, meter reading and administration and is based on your meter size. The volumetric rate for both water and wastewater services covers the annual operation, maintenance and improvement of the water distribution and wastewater collection systems.
The District also purchases drinking water and wastewater treatment services for its customers from various municipal providers. Depending on your location, you will see an additional charge for your treatment service provider in addition to The District’s rates. The District passes the rates for these services through to you as part of your monthly water bill.
Our drinking water and wastewater treatment service providers include:
City of Toledo
City of Bowling Green
City of Perrysburg
City of Oregon
City of Fostoria
Village of McComb
Use the map below to find out where your water comes from
How Rates are Set
Our costs to deliver the water service customers expect when they turn on the faucet are rising and changing. We are not alone; utility costs are increasing across the country. Just like any business, as costs of these inputs rise, our prices must rise to reflect the cost of providing the service.
- Our suppliers’ costs are rising for the processes and chemicals required to produce clean drinking water that meets evolving water quality standards.
- Our costs are rising to repair and replace hundreds of miles of aging pipelines and treatment plants that treat wastewater –before major service disruptions occur.
- Our costs are rising for energy, labor and insurance to deliver billions of gallons of water to homes.
At The District, we plan for the long term, making investments in our water and wastewater system responsibly and gradually. We develop an annual budget based on the planned capital and operating needs for that year. All our costs, from capital infrastructure projects to daily operations to emergency work, are paid for solely by rates and fees, not taxes. The District’s Board of Directors typically votes on rate adjustments in December of each year to be implemented on customer bills at the beginning of the following year.
Treatment Provider Rates
The following links provide information for treatment charges that appear on bills. These are fees charged by entities other than Northwestern Water & Sewer District for water and sewer treatment, and they vary depending on the muncipality that provides the service.
General background information
The following links provide perspectives on the factors influencing water and sewer rates at the national/regional level.