Novato Sanitary District | Creating Worth From All of Novato's Waste

Sewer Service Charges

Sewer Service Charges (Rates)

Your Wastewater District practices fiscal responsibility, working to provide the highest quality of service at the lowest reasonable cost.

 

Novato Sanitary District’s Costs are Among the Lowest in the County

The District has been proactive in keeping costs down. We have among the lowest overall sanitary service costs in the County when both sewer service charges and taxes are included. District costs will remain among the lowest even if the proposed increases are approved. Below are some of the ways the District has recently cut costs.

  • Maintains a small, efficient staff..
  • Contracted with Veolia to operate the treatment plant, saving about $1.4 million per year.
  • Obtained grants for recycled water, saving about $2 million.
  • Obtained low interest loans for the new treatment plant, with a $1 million annual saving.
  • Adjustments to employee benefits lowers costs by $100,000 annually.

Rate Chart - Comparison of Cost per Residential Customer

Charges shown are projected for 2016-2017, and include residential sewer service charges only.

 

How Residential Sewer Service Charges are Calculated

Each residential customer is charged for sewer use in tiers based on water usage during the winter months. This generally reflects the amount of water that is used indoors and drained to the sanitary system. Sewer service is measured in Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDUs).

The service charge appears on the annual property tax bill. Sewer service is measured in Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDU).

Charges are tiered based on the amount of water use:

  • HIGH USE CHARGE. 200% or more than the average water use are charged for 1.8 EDU
  • AVERAGE USE CHARGE. Between 26% and 199% of the average use of all customers are charged for one unit of service (1 EDU). This covers the vast majority of all customers.Non-metered residential customers are also charged one service unit (1 EDU)
  • LOW USE CHARGE. 25% or less than average user are charge for 0.6 units of service (0.6 EDU)

Current Sewer Service Charges

Typical Residential Sewer Service Charges. Under the current rates, the annual bill for the average residence is $594 in 2017-18 and will be $615 in 2018-19.

 

 

How Non-Residential Charges are Calculated

Non-residential customers pay a proportionate charge based on their water use, size of facility, and the strength of the wastewater. The minimum non-residential charge is one service unit.

Non-Residential Proposed Rates Based on Three Factors

To accurately reflect cost of service, non-residential rates are comprised of three factors:

  1. Square Footage of the non-residential space, which reflects its capacity to generate wastewater, called the Flow Factor.
  2. Water Use in Winter as measured by the water bill, which in turn reflects the amount of wastewater generated.
  3. Strength of the Wastewater based on the type of business, which reflects the cost to treat the wastewater. Strength varies among non-residential uses. For example the strength for a restaurant would be much greater than that for an office because of the grease and food waste generated by a restaurant. The greater the strength of wastewater, the greater the cost to treat, and thus the greater the charge. There are different strength factors for a variety of business types.

USE THE FORMULAS AND CHARGES BELOW TO CALCULATE THE NON-RESIDENTIAL SEWER SERVICE CHARGE

1. Square Footage—Fixed Charge Per Square Foot. The current fixed charge per square foot of floor area for the different types of non-residential uses below. Multiply the square footage for a particular non-residential use by the rate for a given year. Note that the flow factor has already been integrated into the charge.

 

Flow

Charge Per Sq. Ft.

User Type

Factor

2017-18 Charge

Base Charge/square foot

1.0

$0.25

Warehouses/mini-storage

0

0

Office

1.0

0.25

Retail

1.0

0.25

Public office buildings

1.0

0.25

School classrooms/administration

1.0

0.25

Churches

1.0

0.25

Meeting halls with kitchens

1.0

0.25

Auto service stations

1.0

0.25

Supermarkets

1.0

0.25

Auditoriums theaters

1.0

0.25

Gymnasium w/showers

1.0

0.25

Hotels/motels, not incl. restaurant

1.0

0.25

Mortuary

1.0

0.25

Medical offices

1.3

0.32

Veterinary offices

1.3

0.32

Dental offices

1.3

0.32

Hospitals

1.3

0.32

Cafeteria/dining area

2.0

0.48

Restaurants/cafes

2.0

0.48

Bakeries

2.0

0.48

Ice cream/yogurt shops

2.0

0.48

Delicatessens

2.0

0.48

Laundry and laundromats

3.0

0.73

2. Water Use—Variable Water Use Charge. The variable charge per hundred cubic feet (HCF) of water use for different non-residential users is shown below. It is calculated on the average water use for the year based on water meter readings from December to April of the previous year. Multiply the annual water use in hundred cubic feet times the charge for a particular non-residential use. Note that the strength factor has already been incorporated into the charges.

 

Strength

Current Charge Per Hundred
Cu. Ft. (HCF)

User Type

Factor

2017-18 Charge

Base Charge / HCF

1.0

$3.23

Warehouses / mini-storage

0

0

Office

1.0

3.23

Retail

1.0

3.23

Public office buildings

1.0

3.23

School classrooms / administration

1.0

3.23

Churches

1.0

3.23

Auto service stations

1.0

3.23

Auditoriums theaters

1.0

3.23

Gymnasium w/showers

1.0

3.23

Hotels / motels, not incl. restaurant

1.0

3.23

Medical offices

1.0

3.23

Veterinary offices

1.0

3.23

Dental offices

1.0

3.23

Hospitals

1.0

3.23

Laundries and laundromats

1.4

4.52

Meeting halls with kitchens

1.4

4.52

Cafeteria / dining area

2.2

7.02

Restaurants / cafes

2.2

7.02

Supermarkets

2.2

7.02

Bakeries

2.2

7.02

Ice cream / yogurt shops

2.2

7.02

Delicatessens

2.2

7.02

Mortuary

2.2

7.02

3. The total annual charge. This is the sum of the two calculations below. To determine the charges for mixed non-residential uses, you will need to know the floor area for each tenant, type of non-residential use and water use. The total charge for the whole building is a combination of the floor area and strength factor for each type of non-residential use and the total water consumption for the whole building. District staff can help with the math.

The formula to calculate the charge for single-use buildings is:
(Sq Footage of Building X Sq Footage Charge) + (Water Usage X Water Use Charge) = Total Charge