Utility Rates

Aerial view of Washougal Water Plant

20150408_1457222020 Water, Sewer and Stormwater Rates

The City of Washougal operates and maintains water, sewer and stormwater utilities, serving more than 16,500 customers. The safe and reliable delivery of these services is of utmost importance to each individual customer and to the overall health of our community. Utility systems are extremely complex and require a substantial financial investment to operate and maintain.  Establishing appropriate rates to support the operations of each utility is critically important to ensure the reliability and safety of these services to the community.

Sample proHow are rates established?

To establish the new rates for each of the utilities, the city hired an independent third party to work closely with key team members over the past 2 years. The largest cost driver for providing utility services is the required capital facilities. To mitigate the impact of rate increases, the group reviewed the capital improvement plans to determine which projects could be deferred until after the current five-year rate window (2023). In total, over $9,600,000 was deferred past the end of the rate study across the three utilities. Since adopting the 2019-2023 utility rates, the city continued to seek efficiencies, including staffing adustments. 

When were the new rates set?

On December 2, 2019, the city council adopted new sewer and stormwater rates for the remaining 4 years of the rate window. Along with new sewer rates, a new rated model was implemented; flow-based sewer which seeks to provide all our customers with greater equity. 

photo 1WATER: No changes to the previously adopted rate increases through 2023.

SEWER: Compared to the previously adopted sewer rates for 2019-2023, the new sewer rates were decreased 2% in 2020, 4.5% in 2021, and increased by 0.25% in 2022 and 2023; an overall decrease of 6% compared to the previously adopted increases. 

STORMWATER: Compared to the previously adopted stormwater rates for 2019-2023, the new stormwater rates decrease by 1.5% in 2020 and 2021 and were maintained as adopted for 2022 and 2023­—an overall decrease of 3% compared to the previously adopted increases. 

Where does revenue from customer-paid utility rates go?

The revenue received from customer-paid rates is, by law, consigned to individual enterprise accounts used exclusively for the cost of providing the utility service. This ensures that utility revenues and costs remain verifiable and separate from the General Fund, which is tax-funded and supports core municipal services such as police, fire, parks and streets.

How are the rates different from last year (2019)?

Utility Rates Chart

HOW do Washougal rates compare with other cities?

(click graph to enlarge)

Utility Bill Comparison

2020 Rates

  1. Water
  2. Sewer
  3. Stormwater

For the water utility, we continue to move toward a structure in which you only pay for a base fee and actual consumption instead of paying for an allowance (set amount included in the flat fee).  This will allow customers to control their bill and those who use the allowance (or less) will notice a decrease in their water portion of the utility bill. By 2023, there will no longer be an allowance in the base fee. This phase-out began in 2013, when the base allowance was 10 CCF (7,480 gallons/bi-monthly). 2020’s CCF allowance will be 3 CCF (2,244 gallons/bi-monthly).

Meter Size2020 Bi-Monthly Base RateAllowance (CCF)*

*1 CCF = 100 cubic feet of water = 748 gallons

For usage over 3 CCF, customers will pay the following (per unit):

Single Family Residential2020 Volume Change
0-12 CCF$3.27
13-30 CCF$6.13
Over 30 CCF$7.68

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