Water Rate Information

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Water Rate Study

Sewer Rate Study

Water Rates Structure

The City of Whittier is committed to maintaining critical infrastructure while efficiently providing safe, dependable water service in a cost effective manner to our residents and business customers.

Increased rates for water and recycled water services are necessary in order to cover rising costs from outside water regulatory agencies, as well as planned capital improvements to the water systems. The City’s former water rate structure was historically lopsided: a very small percentage of revenue was from the fixed service fee and the large majority was from variable consumption. This resulted in a number of issues, including a significant loss in revenues needed to keep pace with fixed maintenance costs, let alone making improvements to the system. Simply put, the City’s water revenues were not keeping up with the costs of overall service. It also meant that if a customer was very good at conserving, a behavior that should be encouraged, that customer’s rates were so low that other customers were subsidizing their share of the costs to maintain infrastructure.

The City has a Utility Authority, which is a separate financial system that operates the water system. The water fund is maintained separately because although city-wide resources have been invested in the water land and infrastructure over the last 60-100 years, the direct beneficiaries of the water system are only the Whittier water customers on the west side of town. The Whittier Utility Authority (WUA) was established to lease all of the City’s utility assets and operations. The assets leased by WUA belong to all residents of the City, but the services of the water system portion of WUA are generally only utilized by the residents on the west side of the City. WUA’s operations are accounted for separately and details of its financial transactions are presented separately in the WUA’s annual audit. Keeping the water costs separate ensures that general funds are not subsidizing the water system.

Water Bill Estimator

This water bill calculator uses Proposed Fiscal Year 2019-20 rates effective August 1, 2019 and can be used to estimate water charges based on the proposed rates.  Charges are based on customer type, meter size and bi-monthly water usage.  Input your bi-monthly water usage and the calculator will show you how the proposed changes will affect your bi-monthly bill.  Water rate schedules can be found in Fees for Water Service FY 2019-20 through 2023-24.

The Public Process for Setting Water Rates

 In order to adopt the proposed water rates, a Notice of Public Hearing to consider proposed adjustments to the water rates is to be mailed, 45 days in advance of a Public Hearing to the record owner of each identified parcel, which may be affected by the proposed rate adjustments as required by law. Notifications will be mailed to all Whittier property owner listed in the County Tax Assessor’s database and tenants who directly pay for their water bills. Any property owner or tenant directly responsible for the payment of these fees may submit a written protest to the proposed rate changes; however, only one protest will be counted per identified parcel. In addition, the notice is to be published in the Whittier Daily News and made publicly available through various other City outlets including the Library, Community Center, Senior Centers, Public Works counter in the City Hall and website. At the public hearing, the City Council is required to consider all protests against the proposed fees. However, the City Council is bound only by those written protests submitted by the close of the Public Hearing by a majority of the total number of affected owners.

Frequently Asked Questions

Here are additional links that may be helpful in understanding the City’s water rates and services, as well as the most commonly asked questions staff receives pertaining to how water is managed. Staff will continue to update this page and share additional information regarding water rates and services over the coming months via our website and on social media.

Water General Info
Utility Rates FAQ
Application to Reduce Meter Size
How to Read Your Bill

As a reminder, please report water emergencies during business hours by calling (562) 567-9530, or (562) 567-9200 after business hours.

FAQs

  • Who monitors the City’s progress on projects and reviews proposed actions related to water?
  • What is the Water Rate Study?
  • Has the City pursued state or federal funding to support the infrastructure improvements instead of increasing rates?
  • Has the City Council considered the impact that higher rates may have on residents with a fixed income?
  • Why do I have to pay a fixed service fee that benefits other people if I consume less water?
  • Does my water bill pay for employee salaries?
  • Where does Whittier get its water from?
  • What does my water bill pay (and not pay) for?
  • What water projects are currently funded by the City?
  • How does consumption and conservation affect my water payments?
  • How does new development in the City of Whittier affect rates?
  • How do other cities compare?
  • Why are rates set so far into the future?
More FAQs