Fixed & Usage Charges
For each billing period, customers are charged a fixed charge based on meter size (e.g. 5/8") and a usage charge based on the amount or water used.
Single-Family Residential (SFR)
customers are charged a water fixed charge per billing period based on meter size and a water usage charge based on the amount of water that passed through the meter. SFR customers that have water-only accounts (accounts with no City-provided sewer service) and use City water for both indoor and irrigation uses are assigned a water cap (see below). SFR customers with no sewer cap due to an absence of irrigation usage have all water billed at the Tier 1 usage charge. SFR sewer customers are charged the residential sewer fixed charge and a sewer usage charge based on calculated sewer usage as defined by the sewer cap (see below). Customers who use non-City water, part or all of the time, have their sewer cap established by averaging the winter use of similar households with metered water.
Multi-Family, Commercial, Industrial, and Institutional
customers are charged a water fixed charge based on meter size and a usage charge based on a uniform rate. Multi-family, industrial, and commercial customers are charged a sewer fixed charge based on meter size and a sewer usage charge based on water use. Customers who use their domestic meters to irrigate outdoors are charged a sewer usage charge as defined by the sewer cap (see above).
customers have a meter used only for irrigation and are charged a water fixed charge based on meter size and a usage charge based on site-specific billing period water budgets determined for each billing period in arrears.
customers use recycled water for irrigation or other eligible uses and are charged a recycled water fixed charge based on meter size and recycled water usage charge based on the site-specific billing period water budget determined for each billing period in arrears.
Billing Period Water Budget
is the amount of water that a dedicated irrigation account landscape needs during the billing period and is determined by a formula using the site’s square footage measurements for the type of landscape and the evapotranspiration rate.
Explanation of Water & Sewer Charges
Water charges are determines by meter size and usage. Sewer charges for most single-family residential customers are determined by an account's "sewer cap".
Sewer Cap or Water Cap
is determined based on indoor water usage for single-family residential, duplex, and some commercial accounts. This is calculated by averaging usage during winter billing periods, which occurs during the billing periods of November through March, so make sure to turn off your outdoor irrigation during this time. For sewer customers, during any billing period, if water usage is less than the sewer cap, accounts are charged sewer usage charges on the basis of actual water usage (the lesser amount).
- Sewer caps are calculated yearly and based on the average water usage during the winter months, November through March. To reduce your sewer cap, turn off irrigation during the rainy season. For irrigation recommendations, please call 707-543-3985 or visit srcity.org/WaterSmart.
Calculating Sewer Cap
Sewer charges for most single-family residential customers are determined by an account's "sewer cap." To determine the sewer cap we average the water usage during the winter billing periods. This occurs during the months of November through March. We use these billing periods because these are normally wet months when it can be reasonably assumed that virtually all water is used indoors and exits as wastewater. The average monthly indoor water usage is called the "sewer cap."
For example, let's assume winter water usages were as follows:
- Winter Billing Period 1: 7,000 gallons
- Winter Billing Period 2: 5,000 gallons
- Winter Billing Period 3: 6,000 gallons
- Average winter water usage = 6,000 gallons
- The annual sewer cap starting on the next July bill = "6"
Please note the following:
- Sewer caps are re-evaluated annually, based on the prior winter's water usage. The less water used, the lower the sewer cap.
- If monthly water usage is ever less than the sewer cap, the sewer usage charge is based on water usage, not the sewer cap.
- Customers who do not use their domestic water meters to irrigate outdoors may not receive a sewer cap and may be charged based on actual water usage.
- For residential customers who use non-City water part or all the time, the sewer cap is established on the average winter use of similar households with City-metered water.
Adopted Service Charge Increases 2021-2025
On May 25, 2021, Santa Rosa City Council adopted a new rate schedule with increases to water, recycled water, and sewer service charges for the next four years.