Water and Sewer Rates

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Rates for Water and Sewer

The San Luis Obispo City Council held public hearings to consider proposed adjustments to water and sewer rates. The hearings were held on June 18, 2019, 6pm in Council Chambers at 990 Palm Street.

If you are a residential customer, you can see how your bill will be effected under these proposed rates by clicking "Calculate My Bill" on the left. For non-residential customers, please call 805.781.7133.

To see some frequently asked questions about the proposed rate changes, please click here

Current Water and Sewer Rates

Effective July 1st, 2019


Due to the ongoing health crisis, the Utilities Department is deferring the approved rate increase set for July 1, 2020. The rates below will stay as is. We will review them again in October 2020.

The City’s monthly charge per billing unit:
(1 unit = 100 cubic feet = 748 gallons)

 Single Family Residential Rate Description Cost
   Water Base Fee*    $21.74 per month
   Water Usage Tier 1 (1-5 Units)    $6.22 per Unit
   Water Usage Tier 2 (6-12 Units)    $7.25 per Unit
   Water Usage Tier 3 (13+ Units)    $13.28 per Unit
 Sewer Treatment Base Fee    $19.72 per month
 Sewer Treatment**    $8.28 per Unit


Multi-Family, Non-Residential, Irrigation Water Rate Description Cost
 Base Fee by Water Meter Size  Monthly Base Fee
   3/4 inch or less    $21.74
   1-inch meter    $36.29
   1.5-inch meter    $72.43
   2-inch meter    $115.89
   3-inch meter    $217.44
   4-inch meter    $362.45
   6-inch meter    $724.73
   8-inch meter    $1159.60

 Water Usage  Per Unit Cost
 Multi-Family    $7.10
 Non-Residential    $8.62
Landscape Irrigation    $10.57


Multi-Family, Non-Residential Sewer Rate Description Cost
 Base Fee by Water Meter Size  Monthly Base Fee
   3/4 inch or less    $19.72
   1-inch meter    $32.93
   1.5-inch meter    $65.66
   2-inch meter    $105.10
   3-inch meter    $197.18
   4-inch meter    $328.70
   6-inch meter    $657.19
   8-inch meter    $1051.54
   10-inch meter    $1511.75
 Sewer Treatment  Per Unit Cost
 All use up to Sewer Cap    $8.28


These rates are approved by the City Council in accordance with Proposition 218 and are subject to change.

With monthly usage of at least 2 units, the cost per gallon of water—including the base fees and sewer treatment—is less than 4 cents.

* A 5% Utility Users Tax is applied to the entire Water portion of the bill, including the base fee and all surcharges. 
** Sewer usage is not billed by tier. The per-unit rate applies to all usage up to Sewer Cap.


Method of Billing

Water and sewer usage is billed in whole units, meaning partially used units will roll into the next month’s usage cycle. For example:

If a customer uses 3.8 units of water in March, they will be billed for 3 units, and the 0.8 will roll into April. The customer then needs only use 0.2 units in April to complete a full unit to be charged on the next bill. This can create a scenario where a customer may use less water than the prior month and actually receive a larger bill.

Month Units Used  Rollover  Units Billed  Cost 
 March  3.8   3  $17.70
 April  3.2 + 0.8  4  $23.60

Rate Review & Increases

Water and sewer services are operated as an enterprise fund which means revenues to support operations and capital improvements must be born by the rate payer. Water and sewer funds are reviewed annually by the City Council at a public hearing. Upon completion of the review, Council then determines the appropriate rate for service. Traditionally, if rate increases are needed, they are implemented at the beginning of the new fiscal year.