Rates / Study

Water and Sewer Rates

Water and Sewer Rates Proposed Effective July 1, 2022

This year the District commissioned a Water and Wastewater Rate Study which analyzes the cost of water and wastewater service for the next five years. The Study also proposes inflationary adjustments to the water rates together with a new structure for the District's wastewater rates that reflects the cost of wastewater service that the District will incur under its contract with the City of Manteca.  The District Board of Directors will consider the new water and wastewater rates after a Public Hearing at its meeting on June 28, 2022. 

For more information, see the Notice of Proposed Changes to Water and Wastewater Rates and Notice of Public Hearing at the link below as well as the April 21, 2022 Water and Wastewater Rate Study itself also linked below.  Finally, the staff report from the March 22, 2022 Board of Directors discussions of this topic is also presented which provides additional information.  Information regarding how to comment on or protest the proposed new rates can be found in the Notice or Proposed Changes.

Summary of Proposed Water Rates: The District has been able to hold water rates steady since the last rate adjustment in 2018 in large part due to an increase in water sales associated with newly occupied homes which in effect spread the fixed cost of the potable water system over more customers. However, inflation has been very low since the time of the last rate adjustment and the District is nearing buildout and faced with significant actual and forecast inflation. This has a combined negative effect on District water finances. Water rates will be held steady until July 1, 2023, as was adopted with the last rate increase, but thereafter, a series of increases are needed to keep up with inflation’s impact on the operations and maintenance cost of the water system which costs cannot be fully offset by new growth.  Proposed water rates are summarized in the table on Page 3 of the Notice.

Summary of Proposed Wastewater Rates: Wastewater rates are proposed to decrease.  In February 2022, the District commissioned new wastewater facilities and began to pump untreated wastewater to Manteca.  This has allowed the District to begin to decommission its existing wastewater treatment and disposal facilities which will reduce direct costs for wastewater treatment and disposal operations. The District will continue to operate its wastewater collection and pumping system facilities. The agreement between the City of Manteca and the District requires payment by the District for various aspects of that service. Overall, the revenue needs associated with these revised wastewater operations will decrease moderately next year and will further decrease as certain one-time costs associated with the new wastewater facilities are paid down over a 10 - 15 year period.  Additionally, and due to the terms of the agreement between the District and Manteca, the wastewater rates will be significantly restructured so as to ensure the equitable allocation of the various cost elements of that service to each customer class.

Applicability of Manteca Capacity Charge     As can be seen in the "Notice of Proposed Changes to Water and Wastewater Rates and Notice of Public Hearing" (see link below) the proposed wastewater structure will consist of three separate components, one of which will be the "Manteca Capacity Component". This new component represents payment to Manteca for allowing the District to connect to its wastewater treatment and disposal system. It is essentially a charge identical to what any new home built in Manteca now pays to connect to the city’s wastewater facilities. This charge is a requirement of the District’s agreement with Manteca. This charge would only be assessed on those single family and mobile home park units for which a building permit was issued by San Joaquin County before June 4, 2019 which is the effective date of the District’s agreement with Manteca. This charge will not be applicable to single family homes or mobile home park units for which a building permit was issued by San Joaquin County on or after that date provided that the Manteca Capacity Component was paid as a single payment by the builder or owner. The capacity charge, if paid as a single payment, would be $5,964 per single family home and $5,103 per mobile home park unit. However, Manteca is allowing these amounts to be gradually paid over a 12 year period at a 2.5% interest rate. This equates to $48.45/month per applicable single family home and $41.46/month per mobile home park unit. Commercial properties (excepting the HOA clubhouse) will not be subject to this District charge because they will be required to pay the Manteca Capacity fee in full prior to the issuance of a building permit. This Manteca Capacity charge will remain unchanged from proposed inception on July 1, 2022 for the twelve year period. Separate from this rate action, the District Board will be setting up a program allowing, but not requiring, a customer subject to the Manteca Capacity Component to pay off the principal amount in whole or in part thereby eliminating or reducing this component from their monthly bill. The payoff will be subject to certain restrictions as to amounts and timing of the amount paid. 

Customers have been asking whether the charge is or is not applicable to their property. The charge will be applicable if the building permit for the property was issued before June 4, 2019 (unless the charge has been already paid by the builder). See the link below to determine if your property is or is not subject to this charge. 

  • If the charge is not applicable, your total monthly wastewater bill would be reduced from an average of $247.19 to $149.44
  • If the charge is applicable, your total monthly wastewater bill would still be reduced but by a lesser amount from an average of $247.19 to $197.89

Water and Sewer Rates Effective July 1, 2021

The charge for water is based on metered water use and will remain $1.68 per unit of water used with a base charge of $55.50 per month.  The charge for sewer service includes a base charge of $176.90 per month with a usage charge of $7.81 per unit and will also remain unchanged.  During 2021, The District is examining its rates in anticipation of the commencement of wastewater service via Manteca.

Water and Sewer Rates Effective July 1, 2020

The charge for water is based on metered water use will remain $1.68 per unit of water used with a base charge of $55.50 per month.

Effective July 1, 2020, the charge for sewer service includes a base charge of $176.90 per month with a usage charge of $7.81 per unit.

No further rate adjustments are currently scheduled.  During this fiscal year, the District will be examining its rates in anticipation of the commencement of wastewater service via Manteca.

A unit is equal to one hundred cubic feet or 748 gallons.

Please see 2018 Rate Study (below) for more detail or email questions to: lynnewichert@valleyoperators.com

Water and Sewer Rates Effective October 1, 2018

On August 29, 2018, after a public hearing, the Oakwood Lake Water District Board of Directors decided to REDUCE water rates by 4.7% and to RAISE wastewater rates by 28.9% over a five year rate period in accordance with the adopted rate schedule.  The initial changes were effective on October 1, 2018 and rates are adjusted each July 1 in accordance with the adopted rate schedule.  You will see the effect of the annual rate adjustments in the bills you receive from the District in early August for service provided in July.

The Board agenda for August 29, 2018 can be found on the Meetings page; that agenda explains the reasons for the rate adjustments and the rate study.  In addition, the independent consultant's report of May 8, 2018 prepared by the District by HF&F Consultants, LLC can also be found there.

In 2017, the Oakwood Lake Water District Board of Directors approved a contract with HF&H Consultants, LLC to prepare a Water and Sewer Rate Study. The report was completed in May 2018 and was included with the agenda materials for the August 28, 2018 OLWD Board Meeting at which the rates were adopted after a public hearing. The report may also be reviewed at the link below:

Water and Sewer Rates Effective 2015

In 2014, the Oakwood Lake Water District Board of Directors approved a contract with the Reed Group to prepare a Cost of Service Report and Rate Study.  Progress reports were provided to the Board and the Finance Committee.  The rate study may be reviewed at the link below:

 

Sewer Base Charges

Your sewer base charge is determined by your winter-time water usage. This is because actual sewer flows from a residence cannot be directly measured so water usage at a time when outdoor water usage is minimal is used as a very good estimate of sewer usage. Your sewer base usage is calculated each year and takes effect on March 1 and that base usage remains the same through the end of the following February. The unit cost for the base sewer usage adjusts annually on July 1 in accordance with action taken by the Board of Directors.

For the period March 1, 2020 through February 28, 2021 the sewer base usage will be determined as the LOWER of:

  • Your individual average water usage from December 2019 through February 2020; or
  • Your individual average water usage for December 2019 and January 2020.

This action was taken by the Board because February 2020 was extraordinarily dry and many of our customers turned on their landscape irrigation systems during that month.

For future (and prior) years your sewer base usage was determined as your individual average water usage during the months of December, January and February.

In general, if you wish to minimize your sewer bill you can do so by curtailing outdoor irrigation during these months.

Receipt and Payment of Service Bills

Your water and sewer service bill is calculated based on your previous monthly usage. For example, the January invoice will be calculated and sent to you in early February after the month of January is complete so that all usage data is captured. Water and sewer service bills are considered delinquent if not paid by the last day of the month and late fees are assessed.

 

System Capacity Charges

Capacity fees are a type of development impact fee that public agencies may impose as a condition of development under the authority of California Government Code section 66000 et seq., the Mitigation Fee Act (Act).  The purpose of capacity fees is to ensure that development pays its fair share of the costs associated with providing system capacity.  Capacity fees are a one-time charge paid near at the time the connection is made or entitlements are received.  The Act requires that those fees or charges shall not exceed the estimated reasonable cost of providing the service.  The District has established Capacity Fees for Water and Sewer Service as follows:

 

Miscellaneous Fees and Charges

 

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