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OWASA's "peak" seasonal water conservation rate will go into effect on May 1

From May 1 through September 30, 2006, OWASA’s charge for water use will change from the present “off-peak” seasonal water conservation rate of $2.74 per 1,000 gallons to the "peak" seasonal rate of $5.20 per 1,000 gallons.

In October, 2006, the water rate will decrease to an "off-peak" seasonal rate to be determined as part of the OWASA Board’s budget and rate decisions this spring.

In June, 2001, the OWASA Board of Directors approved a seasonal water conservation rate structure that first went into effect in May 1, 2002.  Before then, a single uniform rate applied year-round.

Why has OWASA adopted seasonal water conservation rates?

The purposes of seasonal rates are:

  • to encourage water conservation, and
  • to charge for water service more accurately based on system capacity needs at different times of year.

Because peak water demands occur in the warm to hot months of the year, the water system capacity requirements and OWASA’s related system capacity costs are highest from May through September. For example, water use has been as high as 14 million gallons on a summer day, but daily water use in the winter is only about half that amount.

How will OWASA calculate water bills in May?

OWASA personnel read most water meters on a day other than the first or last day of the month. OWASA will therefore prorate water use, as explained below, to calculate the bills in May.

For example, if a customer uses 8,000 gallons of water from April 16th to May 15th, then:

  • the charge for half of the water (4,000 gallons) would be the current “off-peak” rate of $2.74 per 1,000 gallons;
  • the charge for the other 4,000 gallons would be the “peak” seasonal rate of $5.20 per 1,000 gallons.

OWASA’s monthly bills also include flat monthly water and sewer charges based on the size of the meter serving a given property, and a charge for sewer service based on the volume of a customer’s water use. These charges will not change on May 1st.

For more information

For more information about conservation techniques and the year-round water conservation requirements that went in effect for OWASA customers in 2003, customers are invited to contact OWASA Public Affairs (537-4267; e-mail: or visit the Water Conservation section of the OWASA Web site.

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