Water Rates and Charges for General Water Service
Each drop that flows from the tap requires significant technical expertise and solid infrastructure. Many people are at work behind the scenes ensuring the 24/7 delivery of one of life’s most essential of human needs. We work to provide safe, adequate and responsive service and to continually improve those services in the most affordable manner. Some people may think we set the rate that our customers pay for water. We do not. In New Jersey, our rates are set by an independent state agency known as the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities which helps assure that rates are held to a fair and reasonable level. In Delaware, our rates are regulated by the Delaware Public Service Commission in the same manner. In both instances, these regulators thoroughly review our company’s operations and cost to collect, treat and deliver water and examine how our infrastructure improvements will sustain the delivery of clean, safe water.
What factors contribute to the cost of tap water?
There are numerous factors that influence the cost of tap water. These include:
- Aging water infrastructure – To ensure reliable service, we need to prudently invest in upgrading aging water mains, facilities, wellfields, storage, etc.
- Rising treatment costs – New drinking water regulations are driving investment in new treatment technologies. As detection methods grow more sophisticated, more stringent water quality regulations may often result in increased testing and treatment costs.
- Increasing costs of power – It takes significant energy to pump, treat and deliver water to thousands of customers.
What is a Consumption Charge?
Water rates are based on a consumption charge and a facilities charge for each billing period. The consumption charge reflects the amount of water you use during the billing period as determined by the beginning and ending water meter readings. This information is entered into our computer billing system that calculates the charges on the basis of current rates for service. Your water meter is the instrument that measures the amount of water you use. The meter records your use of water in CCF (hundreds of cubic feet). One CCF = 748 gallons. Also included in the consumption charge is a State Water tax of $0.01 per 1,000 gallons of water. Please Note: In DE, Tidewater records water use in gallons.
What is a Facilities Charge?
The facilities charge is a fixed charge that covers our costs for maintaining the supply, treatment, distribution and service facilities that are necessary to provide safe and reliable water service to your home together with meter reading, installation and billing costs. This charge appears on every bill and does not vary with consumption. The facilities charge is based on the size and flow capacity of your water meter.
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