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• The establishment of a new bi-monthly watershed management fee based on meter size for all customers. This new fee covers a portion of watershed maintenance and operational costs;
• Adjustments to the tier rates (per-CCF*) based on consumption. The tier rates cover the cost of water transmission, treatment, distribution, watershed maintenance, importing water, and recycling water;Tier breaks: •The tier breaks for single-family residential customers remain the same; •The tier breaks for duplex and multi-family residential customers change; •The tier breaks for all other customer categories (single-family irrigation, commercial, irrigation, institutional, recycled water, and raw water) remain the same.
This is MMWD's first rate increase since May 2012.
An additional 4% increase across all water service rates, fees, and charges went into effect May 1, 2016 and is reflected in water bills issued on or after July 1, 2016.
*One CCF, or hundred cubic feet, is 748 gallons.
For the majority (79%) of single-family residential customers, the current fixed service charge will increase approximately $5 per month and the new watershed management fee will be an additional $5 per month, so most customers will see their bimonthly bills increase by approximately $20. The overall impact of the rate change on customers’ bills will vary because MMWD’s costs to provide water at each tier level vary.
The new rate structure meets California law, as defined by Proposition 218, requiring rates to reflect the actual cost of providing service to various customer classes. It also follows industry best practices for rate-setting standards.
There were different drivers in this COSA than in the last one, i.e., improving revenue stability in the face of reduced water sales. In the last rate study, the district’s income stream was focused on recovering revenue from the commodity charge, i.e., the tiered rates. That approach led to much more volatility due to reductions in demand from economic down turns, climate impacts, and drought effects. MMWD last completed a COSA in 2010.
Low water use customers will have lower bills than high water use customers because low water use customers will be in Tier 1 and charged the lowest per-unit cost. Since more revenue will come from the fixed service charges, the amount of revenue that must be generated by the tiered portion of the water bill is reduced. Therefore, the tiered rates did not change uniformly.
As with any business, the district has to remain a competitive employer. We have hired more than 20% of our workforce within the last five years. Our competitors for qualified employees include other water districts, large industrial employers, and the high-tech industry.
In terms of pension costs, as of January 2013, all public employees in California are under a new pension plan under the Public Employee Pension Reform Act (PEPRA). MMWD already has 15% of its workforce under PEPRA and that percentage will grow over time. In addition, every year, a portion of MMWD’s contribution to the pension plan goes to paying down the unfunded liability.
You can also set up automatic payments on our online payment system from a checking account, MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover. Click the Login / Register link at top right.
For general questions regarding the Entitlement Program or to get entitlement or water budget information for your property, please contact the Water Conservation Department at 415-945-1520.
The California Department of Public Health requires all drinking water additives, including fluoride, to meet the requirements of NSF 60, the nationally recognized health effects standard for chemicals used to treat drinking water. 47 states require that chemicals used in the treatment of potable water meet the NSF 60 standard.
Hydrofluorosilicic acid, the additive we use, meets the requirements of NSF 60 and therefore is an approved fluoride compound.
State legislation on water fluoridation also has a bearing on this issue. State Assembly Bill 733, which became law in 1995, requires water systems in California that have 10,000 or more service connections to fluoridate the water. The law does exempt water systems from this requirement if they do not have funds from outside sources to pay for the costs of fluoridation. Under the statute, “outside sources” are defined as sources other than the system’s ratepayers, shareholders, local taxpayers, bondholders, or any fees or charges levied by the water systems.
Annually MMWD receives about 1 million dollars in rental income from antenna site and property leases. This income qualifies as an “outside source.”
A careful review shows that even if there were a ballot measure within MMWD’s service area to overturn the 1978 fluoridation ballot measure, there is a strong argument and likelihood that the district would still be required to fluoridate the water supply because:• MMWD has more than 10,000 service connections• MMWD has outside income to pay the annual costs of fluoridation
When Lagunitas, Bon Tempe, and Alpine are full, the overflow spills into other district reservoirs downstream. Water from Phoenix, Kent, Nicasio, and Soulajule flows into local creeks where it provides many environmental benefits including habitat for endangered coho salmon and other fish and wildlife. Thus even water that goes over the spillways is put to good use.
When the district last filed for rights to expand storage in 1980, the result was 15 years of studies and hearings prior to reaching a court-ordered agreement. Since that time, stronger protections have been put in place for endangered coho salmon. Given the water needs for fish and the high volume of water we already divert, it is highly unlikely that MMWD would be granted the necessary approvals to further increase reservoir storage.
MMWD plans to perform similar studies on our other primary storage reservoirs (Alpine, Kent, and Nicasio).
The district is making special efforts this year to capture the spill otherwise lost to the lake system. For instance, this year the district started pumping water from Nicasio Reservoir earlier than usual. This reduces the amount of water we need to take from our reservoirs that are not spilling (such as Kent). In addition, we are designing and will install a modification to the pump station at Phoenix Lake to allow us to pump water from Phoenix Lake up to Bon Tempe faster and less expensively than currently. Then, when Phoenix Lake is spilling, we will be able to pump water up to the upper lakes and save it there (assuming the upper lakes are not also spilling).
However, the simplest and least expensive way we can maximize our water supply is through conservation. That's why we ask our customers to use water wisely and why we offer a variety of conservation programs and rebates to help.
Dual-Flush: Dual-flush toilets save water by offering two different flush volumes, one for solids and one for liquids, so you save water by only using what you need. Most dual-flush toilets use 1.6 gpf for a full flush and 0.8 gpf for a reduced flush. Studies show these toilets average about 1.3 gpf.
Pressure-Assist: Pressure-assist toilets compress a pocket of air inside a sealed chamber as water fills. When flushed, the pressurized air forces the water rapidly into the bowl, creating a powerful, fast flush that has a “whoosh” sound. The flush can be slightly louder than standard toilets.
Single-Flush: A few manufacturers do offer HETs that utilize a single-flush—what many would describe as a “standard-style” toilet. These toilets use no more than 1.28 gpf.
Since 1995, when MMWD changed the distribution system disinfectant from chlorine to chloramine, a combination of chlorine and ammonia, MMWD has achieved a 57% reduction in THMs on average. The federal standard for THMs is 80 micrograms per liter (ug/L,) or parts per billion, while the THM count in MMWD's water averages 31 ug/L.
While HAA monitoring was not required before the conversion to chloramine, it has been well documented that the use of chloramine for a residual disinfectant significantly reduces the formation of HAAs. The average concentration found in MMWD’s distribution system is approximately one-third of the federal standard of 60 ug/L.
On its way to your tap the water temperature can increase and pressure is reduced as water enters distribution system tanks and ultimately flows with the released air bubbles out of your tap. There is no health impact associated with the air bubbles, but if you find the cloudiness unappealing, let the water sit for a few minutes or keep a container of water stored in the refrigerator.
The algal type is called Aphanizomenon or Aphan for short. Its presence does not degrade the safety of our water supply in any way and, unlike some types of algae, it does not produce any musty or moldy tastes or smells. While many algae types grow predominantly in the summer months, this type of algal sheen can be seen in nearly all months of the year.