The Hectorcampbell NDA meets the second Monday of every month at 6:30pm in the Community Room of the Public Safety Building: 3200 SE Harrison Street, Milwaukie, OR

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Water and Sewer Bill calculations

Provided by Mr. Paul Shirey, Milwaukie Public Works Operations Supervisor

Within the next month, the city’s water department website will provide the rates which will allow you to calculate your own bill. By the end of March, check at

There are about 6600 residential customers in the city, split so that half have their meters read one month and the other half the next. Meters are read digitally by a meter reader using a hand-held computer, and the data is downloaded to the water department's software program, which calculates each bill. The water meter measures water coming into the house, to outside spigots and any irrigation system.

One cubic foot is equal to 7.48 gallons of water. 100 cubic feet (748 gallons) of water equals one unit. On the water bill, the number listed (for example, with an average of 8 units) would represent about 5,984 gallons of water.
Water is charged at a base rate of $7.61 + $1.73 times the number of units of water consumed. Water rates increase 2.46% effective July 2010. Water base rate will be $7.80 + $1.77 times units of water consumed.
Example: If 9 units of water are consumed, then the calculation would be (7.61)+(1.73)(9)= $23.18 for water.

The sewer charge is based on an average of the water bill during four previous winter months. This is a commonly used method throughout the U.S. Metering sewer output would be difficult and expensive for residential sites. Commercial and industrial sites do not use a winter average due to the huge amounts of output and are based on actual usage.
The sewer rates are calculated using a base fee of $18.94 + $2.68 times the winter average. Sewer rates will increase March 2010; so the base fee will be $20.07 + $2.84 times the winter average.
For example: If the winter average is 7 (regardless of actual water usage), then the calculation would be (18.94)+(2.68)(7) = $37.70 for sewer.

The storm water fee on the bill is a fixed charge.$9.90/month, so (9.90)(2 months)= $19.80 per bill.

There is also a city street maintenance fee on the water bill that is charged because of the levy passed two years ago. $3.35/month, so (3.35)(2 months) = $6.70 per bill.

A neighbor suggested that the city's water calculation and billing information site should be referenced on the water bill. Mr. Shirey said that residents with questions about their water bill should call Jim Ward at 503-786-7525. If they aren't satisfied with the answer, please don't hesitate to call Paul Shirey at 503-786-7614.

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