See How Much Watertown’s Water, Sewer Rates Will be Going Up

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Watertown residents will see a slight rise in water rates in the next Fiscal Year, and sewer rates will rise even more. The average of the combined water/sewer rate increase is 2.5 percent.

Tuesday night, the Town Council heard the proposed rates for water and sewer service in Watertown from Dave Fox, a consultant from Raftelis.

The water and sewer accounts are self funding, and the most of the basis for the rates comes from the forecast use of water and sewer in Fiscal 2019 (which begins July 1, 2018).

“It is based on the number of accounts and consumption,” Fox said. “Accounts is easy, they do not change much. Consumption is hard — overestimate and you under collect, under estimate and you over collect.”

The money pays for the water and sewer expenses for the year. The projected expenses for water is $7.9 million and $10.7 million for sewer. It would require an additional $78,415 for water and $244,740 for sewer above the amount raised from the current rates, Fox said.

The increases depends on the size of your meter. Quarterly for customers with 5/8 inch meters (the size of most residential meters) who use 200 gallons per day would go up 2.5 percent. The increase would be $1.78 for water and $6.21 for sewer $6.21 ($7.99 total). The total bill would go from $325.87 to $333.86 per quarter.

In addition, Fox proposes increasing the service charge (paid quarterly on all meters) and the fire charges (paid by private customers with fire service lines to feed fire sprinklers).

“You do not want to put too many eggs in the basket (of revenues),” Fox said. “It guards against cool, wet summer.”

The increase would be 1.5 percent for the service charge, and 1.5 percent for fire charges. The rate depends on the size of the meters. The quarterly increase for service charges it would range from 10 cents for 5/8 inch meters (a total of $6.97) to $1.41 for a 6 inch meter (a total of $95.44). The fire charge would range from 15 cents higher for a 2 inch meter (up to $10.15) to $11.78 more for a 10 inch meter (up to $796.78).

The water and sewer enterprise funds expenses include:


Personnel $984,391

MWRA $3,723,198

Other Enterprise Expense $380,100

Capital $922,965

Transfers $1,898,500


Personnel $531,237

MWRA $6,415,582

Other Enterprise Expense $481,000

Capital $1,495,094

Transfers $1,774,642

Councilors will officially approve the rates when they vote on the Town Budget on June 5, 2018.

3 thoughts on “See How Much Watertown’s Water, Sewer Rates Will be Going Up

    • If you read the story, it says the price increase matches the increased water usage. All the money you pay for water/sewer goes to water/sewer expenses. You are not buying water or paying for sewage treatment from the MWRA, the town does.

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