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Board of Directors Approve Fiscal Year 2019/2020 Sewer Rates

Sewer Rates

Sewer Service Charge Rates for Fiscal Year 2019/2020 (FY19/20)
Delta Diablo provides wastewater conveyance and treatment services for over 69,000 customer accounts (residential and non-residential), representing approximately 214,000 residents in the City of Antioch, City of Pittsburg, and the unincorporated community of Bay Point. On June 12, 2019, the Board of Directors adopted a one-year, $51.5 million budget that will pay for critical improvements to wastewater systems while meeting stringent industry regulatory requirements. After a Public Hearing, the Board unanimously approved the new rates, which are the primary revenue source to fund labor, energy, chemicals, regulatory compliance, plant maintenance, capital infrastructure renewal and rehabilitation, Household Hazardous Waste facility operation and street sweeping services. 

Bill Impacts

Each year, the District submits required information to Contra Costa County to place SSCs on the property tax roll for most customers. The District’s revenues and expenditures have been calculated for the next fiscal year based on the adopted Fiscal Year 2018/2019 (FY18/19) Operating Budget, future advanced treatment needs, and the FY19/20 through FY23/24 capital improvement program (CIP), which have resulted in projected SSC adjustments to ensure that total revenues, including use of fund balances, cover the cost of providing service. Based on the analysis, the SSCs increase for FY19/20, is shown in Table 1. The projected rates are due to increases in core wastewater service operating and capital needs over the 5-year financial planning horizon. 
Table 1: Example of Annual Single Family Residential SSC on Property Tax Bills for FY19/20

Residential ServiceApproved SSC Increase*FY18/19FY19/20Annual Change
City of Antioch4.5%$372.68$389.47$16.78
City of Pittsburg4.5%$372.68$389.47$16.78
Bay Point3.5%$522.13$540.26$18.13

Critical investments

Delta Diablo’s core mission is to protect public health and the environment in our communities by providing wastewater resource recovery services of exceptional quality and value. The District operates 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, treating 13 million gallons of wastewater each day. The District has an exemplary regulatory compliance record in meeting federal, state, and local regulatory requirements and protecting the local Delta receiving waters. Continued capital investment in the Wastewater Treatment Plant, 76 combined miles of sewer pipes and force mains, and five pump stations is critical to maintaining effective, reliable, and high-quality customer service.

The approved FY19/20 budget continues investments in and maintenance of aging infrastructure and provides a plan for long-term financial stability. In the coming year, the District will invest more than $20 million to improve our aging wastewater and recycled water infrastructure. The budget was developed after analyzing a portfolio of investments and determining the highest priority projects based on regulatory compliance, safety, cost-effectiveness and continuous service improvements. Approximately 44 percent of the FY19/20 budget relates to building and paying for capital.

Rate setting
Delta Diablo is committed to fair and reasonable rates. As a not-for-profit public agency, state law only allows the District to recoup the costs necessary to operate and maintain our system and ensure that it is stable and safe for the future. The District follows Proposition 218 guidelines for rate setting and public hearings and is audited annually by an independent accounting firm. The approved SSC adjustment maintains the District’s position as one of the least overall cost service providers in the region; strengthens the District’s capital infrastructure investment program; and supports the established fund balance minimum level, ensuring fiscal integrity and resiliency.