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Published on Friday, July 13, 2012

On July 1, a rate increase took effect for MSD customers. You will see this increase on your August bills. MSD is actually two separate utilities -- one for wastewater management and a considerably smaller one for stormwater management. Together, these utilities help to protect our water quality, guard against health and safety risks, and support our region's economic vitality. The MSD bill you receive each month contains two separate charges: a wastewater user charge and a stormwater charge. The wastewater user charge is the rate that increased. The stormwater charge remains the same. The wastewater user charge is the larger charge on your bill, and is the charge that covers MSD's costs for collecting and treating the "used" water that gets disposed of in your sinks, toilets and floor drains. This water travels through miles of pipes to one of our seven treatment plants, where it is treated to high standards before safely returning to our region's waterways. Your wastewater user charge includes a base charge and a volume charge. All customers pay the same base charge. The volume charge varies, depending on how much water you use. Because sewer flows are not metered, MSD must estimate how much wastewater your home produces. The volume charge is determined one of two ways:

  •  Residential customers with water meters: Bills are based on your water usage during the winter quarter, as measured in cubic feet of water (listed on your bill as CCF).That water meter reading most closely reflects the amount of water used inside the house and is not affected by activities such as watering your lawn, washing a car, or filling a swimming pool. A CCF is equal to about 750 gallons of water, which is enough water to run a dishwasher about 50 times.
  • Residential customers without water meters: Bills are based on the number of rooms, baths and toilets in your residence.

The smaller charge on your bill is for your stormwater service.  Along with a variety of property taxes that are levied annually, this smaller charge allows MSD to provide limited stormwater service to our community.  These services, while not robust, include the enforcement of state and federal stormwater regulations, and maintenance of existing stormwater infrastructure (stormwater sewers, inlets, manholes, etc.) The storm service charge is 24 cents per month for single-family residences, regardless of the size of your property. Multi-family residences are charged 18 cents per unit per month. Our rates are competitive with other communities of our size and circumstance. Of every dollar our customers pay:

  •  37 cents covers the day-to-day operation and maintenance of MSD's seven wastewater treatment plants and 9,630 miles of sewers
  • 50 cents goes toward projects in our $4.7 billion capital improvement program
  • 13 cents goes to repay the debt we have incurred since FY 2004 in implementing this program

 If you have questions about your bill, please contact our billing call center at 1-866-281-5737.