GrokSurf's San Diego

Local observations on water, environment, technology, law & politics

Water rates comparison in San Diego County

Posted by George J Janczyn on June 19, 2010

One unit = 100 cubic feet (HCF) = 748 gallons.

Chart is from the Helix Water District Water Rate Study published June 2010.

28 units or HCF is considered average domestic home usage for a 2-month billing period. Helix Water District bills per unit, San Diego Water Department bills per HCF. Both measures represent the same amount.

In communities served by the San Diego Water Department, the first 14 HCF used costs $3.293 per HCF; the second 14 HCF is $3.571; and above 28 HCF is $4.009 (current rate will increase in the near future).

In communities served by the Helix Water District, the first 10 units used costs $2.10 per unit, 11-30 units is $2.92; 31 units and above is $3.88 (based on the proposed rate increase).


4 Responses to “Water rates comparison in San Diego County”

  1. crowdiff said

    Different districts have different legacy costs and infrastructure issues. Some districts are raided by their city governments. The city of San Diego was pretty good at that for a while, and that might still be continuing. Has anybody looked lately? Almost no one ever looks closely at this and when they do it is hard to uncover or make the public accept that they are being ripped off. People seem to believe that higher water costs is better.

  2. crowdiff said

    Why aren’t the county’s other water districts included in that chart?

  3. George said

    I sent email to Mark Weston, District General Manager of the Helix Water District to ask about their selections for comparison on this chart. Here is his reply:

    We selected the specific agencies included in our chart for several reasons including:

    1. Cross selection of water agencies and municipalities located throughout San Diego Region
    2. Several agencies are our surrounding neighbors including City of San Diego, Otay Water District, Padre Dam Water District and Sweetwater Authority
    3. We’ve been using the same agencies to compare for several years so we maintain the historical comparisons
    4. Some agencies are similar in size to Helix with regards to number of customer accounts

    Some of these agencies are on a bimonthly billing cycle and others are on a monthly cycle. We convert the monthly billing cycle amounts to bimonthly for comparison purposes.

  4. crowdiff said

    Cool that you asked the district chief and that he answered. Let’s put the answer to the test:
    1. Sounds like it was an arbitrary selection. They didn’t include Oceanside, SDWD, or SFID which are much cheaper.

    2. Sounds good.

    3.That might be good to be consistent, as long at it is not consistently bad. It is important to establish what they want to know from the data before we can see if their selection is useful. Is it to show that the costs are average… then it is bad if they’ve stacked the deck.


    Some, but not all?

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