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 Note: MPMW also 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.

Contact us

Pam Lowe, PE

Senior Civil Engineer
Email

650-330-6745

FAQs

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 2015, and they are normally reevaluated every five years.

Why are water fees adjusting from 2-tiers to 3-tiers?

A 3-tier structure encourages water conservation. 

  • Tier 1 (1-6 ccf) represents efficient indoor use for the average household (2.75 people per household using 55 gallons of water per person per day) 
  • Tier 2 (7-12 ccf) represents excess indoor use plus some outdoor use. The 12 ccf threshold matches the single-family average household use in 2020.
  • Tier 3 (above 12 ccf) represents remaining outdoor use

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?

A typical single-family home using 12 ccf of water per month is billed $127.51. With the proposed fiscal year 2021-22 rates, the same single-family home will see a $9.51 decrease in their monthly bill.

How much will my water bill increase?

Menlo Park Municipal Water is proposing to increase water rates over the next five years. The proposed water rate increases will result in the average residential water customers’ monthly bill decreasing $9.51 in fiscal year 2021-22, and then increasing five percent annually thereafter.

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.

When will new rates go into effect?

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

Is there a water rate report available?

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

What are the various rate components shown on my water bill?

  • Monthly fixed meter charge based on the size of the water meter (fire meters have a separate rate table)
  • 3-tier consumption charge based on metered water use.
  • Capital surcharge based on metered water use.
  • Drought Surcharge, only applicable if the City Council has declared a drought stage. The drought surcharge corresponds directly to the drought stage as delineated in the adopted Water Shortage Contingency Plan. The surcharge is used to recover costs of services and and allows the water system to remain financially stable during periods of drought and reduced water sales.
  • Utility users tax (currently 1%)

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 $127.51. With the newly adopted rates, the same single-family home will see a $9.51 decrease in their monthly bill during the first year.

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.

What is the drought surcharge and when will I be charged for it?

The drought surcharge would only apply if the City Council declares a drought stage. The drought surcharge corresponds directly to the drought stage in the adopted Water Shortage Contingency Plan(PDF, 6MB) . The surcharge is used to recover costs of services and allows the water system to remain financially stable during periods of drought and reduced water sales.