How Rates are Set

The cost to deliver water to your faucet and to treat water that goes down the drain is constantly changing.  Rainfall, costs for materials, labor costs, and inflation can all impact the rates you pay for these essential life services.   As with any business, as these costs rise, our prices need to reflect the cost of providing safe, clean water.

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 through 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.

It is critically important that The District continues to re-invest in its water infrastructure to keep pace with inflation and other cost increases.

Click here for FAQ’s about rates

Person jumping into water.

Understanding Rates

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
City of Napoleon
Village of McComb

Use the map below to find out where your water comes from

General background information

The following links provide perspectives on the factors influencing water and sewer rates at the national/regional level.  Information includes graphs and podcasts.

Speaking of Water – The Price of Water 2019 – Brett Walton, Circleofblue.org, July 2019.

Rate Survey: Water Cost Increases Outpacing other U.S. Goods and Services. American Water Works Association, Connections, May 9, 2019. 

Treatment Provider Rates

The following links provide information for treatment charges that appear on bills. These are fees charged by entities other than The District for water and sewer treatment, and they vary depending on the muncipality that provides the service.  The District can not control these costs.

2018 Treatment Provider Rates (PDF)
2017 Treatment Provider Rates (PDF)
City of Toledo Water & Sewer Rate Ordinance (PDF)