Proposed Sewer Rate Increase
The District is proposing a 5-year sewer rate increase, which is based on a sewer Rate Study, our 10-year financial plan, 10-Year Capital Improvement Plan, and several master plans. The need for a rate adjustment was evaluated by a nationally-known engineering firm. The Rate Study is available here or by calling (707) 644-8976.
Preparing for the Future
Treating the wastewater that comes through our plant and preventing pollution from flowing through Vallejo’s storm drains to the Bay is a complex and important job; one we are proud to have done for more than 65 years. Looking ahead, our priorities are to replace aging sewer infrastructure and meet emerging regulatory requirements while being as efficient as possible with your sewer rate investment.
A significant part of the sewer treatment process is reaching the end of its useful life, and capital investments are necessary to protect the health and property of all Vallejo residents. You expect reliable service from us, and we deliver.
Our long term planning processes have identified several key upgrades and replacements to improve our facilities and equipment and ensure that they continue to function now and into the future.
TREATMENT PLANT: Strategic and prioritized replacement of aging assets which are at risk of critical failure are needed, as well as improvements that address regulatory compliance. More than $45M is needed over the next 10 years, primarily focused on electrical systems, major piping, and treatment processes. Regulatory compliance improvements are estimated at over $120M in plant improvement work over the next 20 years.
SEWER PIPES AND PUMP/LIFT STATIONS: Approximately 100 miles of the sewer system is more than 70 years old. Over $15M is planned for rehabilitation and replacement of deteriorated sewer pipes over the next 10 years; critical capacity increases of over $10M are needed to reduce blended effluent discharges, and more than $10M in essential improvements are required on several mainland sewer lift stations.
SOLIDS HANDLING: Essential improvements are needed for upgrading the solids process to meet regulatory requirements and improve operations.
TUBBS ISLAND: Over $10M will be used to improve the District’s solids processing operations at Tubbs Island, including levee improvements that also address the effects of sea level rise.
Understanding Sewer Rates
The District collects most of its rate revenue from residential and commercial customers as a charge on the property tax bill. Industrial and government customers are directly billed on a recurring basis.
Residential Customers are billed at a flat rate based on the average water winter usage and wastewater strength for all residential customers.
Commercial Customers are billed based on the prior year winter quarter average water consumption and strength according to their billing category, plus a monthly base charge.
Industrial Customers are billed based on water consumption and strength, measured by biochemical oxygen demand and total suspended solids contributed to the treatment process, plus the commercial base charge. Some special-type discharges are billed a flat fee per millions of gallons of water used.
Schools are billed based on average daily attendance, plus the commercial monthly base charge.
Upper Lateral charges are billed as a flat amount per parcel to all user types, and is used to pay for improvements to upper laterals to prevent overflows and other impacts created by groundwater infiltration.
Reduced Rate Program
The District offers a Reduced Rate Program for qualifying residential customers who own and are living in their home. For the tax year from July 1, 2023 to June 30, 2024, the sewer bill reduction is proposed to be 17.5% off standard residential sewer rates.
Current participation in PG&E’s CARE Program is required. Apply at PGE.com/care. An approved application is valid for two years.
Applications received and approved prior to Dec. 31, 2023 are adjusted for the current fiscal year, and applications after Jan. 1, 2024 are applied toward the following fiscal year’s rate.
Current and Proposed Annual Sewer Rates
The Rate Study calculates the allowable sewer rates for the next five years, based on the District’s revenue needs and an allocation of costs to customer types. The Board of Trustees used this report to propose rate adjustments beginning July 1, 2023 and on July 1 for the following four years. The proposed rate changes, based on projections in the 10-year financial plan, would provide the District with sufficient revenues to pay and finance anticipated operating costs, and improvement projects required to address aging infrastructure, new regulatory requirements, and the impacts of increased storm intensity. Refer to the District's sewer rate ordinance (District Code 4.08) for definitions of terms and specific details on how the above rates are applied.
Current Charge per Month
Proposed Charge Effective 7/1/2023
Proposed Charge Effective 7/1/2024
Proposed Charge Effective 7/1/2025
Proposed Change Effective 7/1/2026
Proposed Change Effective 7/1/2027
Commercial and Industrial Customers
(per milion gal.)
|Per Parcel/ Connection||1.38||1.70||2.04||2.40||2.40||2.40|
In Person and Virtual Meetings
May 8, 2023 at 6:00pm - South Vallejo Community Center, 545 Magazine Street, Vallejo
May 10, 2023 at 6:00pm - Vista Room at Dan Foley Cultural Center, 1499 N. Camino Alto, Vallejo
May 18, 2023 at 6:00pm - Mira Theater, 51 Daniels Avenue, Vallejo
May 30, 2023 at 6:00pm - Virtual - Zoom Meeting ID 819 7845 5463 Password 799234
Tuesday, June 13, 2023 at 6:00pm
In person at City Council Chambers, 555 Santa Clara Street, Vallejo, CA
or virtually at https://ZoomClosed.CityOfVallejo.net
Rate Hearing Process and How to Protest
Proposition 218 and the California Constitution require that wastewater charges not exceed the cost of providing services. The District’s Board of Trustees will consider proposed rate increases for the next five years for all property owners with a sewer connection at a public hearing on June 13, 2023 at the City of Vallejo’s City Council Chambers at 555 Santa Clara St. This notice is being sent to all owners of record whose parcels receive wastewater services from the District or who would be subject to the proposed rate changes, in accordance with California Constitution Article XIII D, Section 6.
Property owners may protest the proposed increases. Written protests will be accepted prior to and at the public hearing. Written protests may be mailed or hand-delivered to the District prior to the end of the public hearing to the Clerk of the Board at 450 Ryder Street, Vallejo, CA 94590. Written protests must include the property’s address or Assessor’s Parcel Number(s) and must be signed by the property owner. Scanned copies of signed protest letters may also be submitted by email to protest@VallejoWastewater.org. All written materials must be received prior to the close of the public hearing. As required by law, the rate increases will not be considered if valid written protests are received from a majority of property owners. Any lawsuit to challenge the proposed rate increase must be filed within 120 days of July 1, 2023, the effective date.