Water rates

Adopted 2022-2026 municipal water rates

The City Council adopted five-year water rates on May 11, 2021. The City Council also adopted new capacity charges, a one-time charge for new and upgraded connections to the water system. It is based on the size of the service connection and recovers the value of system capacity provided for the new/upgraded service. The water rates for fiscal year 2021-22 will be effective for bills issued on or after July 1, 2021.

Menlo Park Municipal Water relies on water rate revenues to fund the costs of operating and maintaining the water system including purchasing wholesale water from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission.

Water rates are the same for all customers. Rates consist of the following components:

Item Description
Meter charge A monthly service charge based on meter size. There is a different monthly service charge for fire services based on the size of the service connection. This charge is included on customer monthly bills.
Consumption charge (3-tier) A charge based on the amount of water consumption measured in centum cubic feet (ccf, where one ccf = 100 cubic feet = 748 gallons) in three tiers as follows:
• Tier 1: 0 – 6 ccf
• Tier 2: 7 – 12 ccf
• Tier 3: Above 12 ccf
This charge is included on customer monthly bills.
Capital facility surcharge The capital facility surcharge is based on the measured amount of water used and helps to partially fund water capital projects. This charge is included on customer monthly bills.
Drought surcharge The Water Shortage Contingency Plan(PDF, 1MB) includes six drought stages representing specific drought scenario (up to 10%, up to 20%, up to 30%, up to 40%, up to 50%, and greater than 50% reductions). The Plan includes City actions and corresponding regulations/prohibitions that would be implemented if the City Council declares a drought stage. Drought surcharges would be included on customer monthly bills during a City Council declared drought.
Capacity charges Menlo Park collects monthly service charges for fire services and water capacity charges for new and upgraded connections to the water system based on the size of the service connections.
SFPUC wholesale pass-through rate Menlo Park purchases all of its water from the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission. The adopted rates assumed certain SFPUC wholesale rates effective July 1 each year. Pursuant to California Government Code 53756, any additional increases in SFPUC wholesale water rates may pass-through to water users when the actual SFPUC rates exceed estimates. This pass-through provision applies to wholesale rates, water management charges and other regulatory or environmental charges required by SFPUC. 
Utility user tax This tax, known as a utility user tax, will be paid by Menlo Park residents and businesses and will be collected and remitted by the utility service providers who serve them. The utility service providers will then remit the tax payments on a monthly basis to the city's Finance Division. On June 19, 2007, and with each year since, the City Council has annually adopted a resolution to reduce the tax rate on all utilities to 1%.


Contact us

Pam Lowe, PE
Senior Civil Engineer



Why are water rates changing?

Water rates need to be reviewed regularly and adjusted as necessary in order to ensure the ability to fund regular ongoing operations and future capital infrastructure needs. Rates were last adopted in 2021, and they are normally reevaluated every five years.

When will new rates go into effect?

The latest adopted water rates became effective for bills issued on or after July 1, 2021.

What is a ccf or water unit?

A water unit is equal to 748 gallons or 100 centum cubic feet (ccf) of water. Water customers are charged for each whole unit of water used during a billing cycle. Menlo Park Municipal Water does not charge for partial units.

How are water bills calculated?

Proposed fiscal year 2022-23 water rates. The table below shows how to calculate a water bill with 3-tier consumption charges.

Description  CCF  Cost/CCF Monthly cost 
Tier 1: 0–6 ccf 6 $5.34 $32.04
Tier 2: 7–12 ccf 6 $7.16 $42.96
Tier 3: Over 12 ccf 0 $9.12 $0
Water capital surcharge 12 $1.66 $19.92
Drought surcharge 12 $0.63-$1.40 $7.56-$16.80
SFPUC wholesale
12 $0.56 $6.72
5/8” fixed meter charge     $28.96
Monthly total     $138.16-$154.96

Will my water bill increase or decrease with the newly adopted rates?

How much water you use will determine if your water bills will increase or decrease. For current rates, a typical single-family home using 12 ccf of water per month is billed $118.00. With the newly adopted rates, the same single-family home will see a $20.16-$36.96 increase (depending on the drought stage of emergency) in their monthly bill.

If five-years rates were adopted, how do rates change in years 2 through 5?

Each of the various rate components (meter charges, consumption charges, and capital surcharges) will increase 5 percent annually on July 1.

Do different types of customers have different types of rates?

No. All customers have the same rates which include a monthly meter charge, and the 3-tier rate structure and capital surcharge for metered water use.

How can I lower my bill?

You can reduce your water charges by conserving water and using it more efficiently. The City has a number of water conservation programs to help reduce water use and improve water use efficiency. Please visit our water conservation webpage for more information.

Is there a water rate report available?

Yes, the rate report is available and can be found on the water rates webpage.