Your bills are based on the amount of water that passed through your meter since the last billing period. Sewer is not metered; instead, we base the amount charged for sewer on the amount of water delivered to your home. WSSC’s rate structure is designed to encourage and reward water conservation. The rate is based on a sliding scale per 1,000 gallons of water used. Customers who use more water are charged at higher rates, and those who use less water are charged at lower rates. WSSC is by no means alone in having a conservation-based rate structure. In fact, about half of the water and sewer utilities in the Northeastern United States now use a rate structure that promotes conservation. Our rate structure, which was implemented on January 1, 1978, was largely the result of the recommendations of a citizen’s task force.
The water/sewer rate on your bill depends upon the amount of water you use and what we call your Average Daily Consumption or ADC. To calculate your ADC, divide the total gallons used by the number of days in the billing period. According to studies, an individual in our service area typically uses about 70 gallons of water every day. If the amount of water you’ve used in a quarter varies dramatically from how much you used last year during the same season, we’ll alert you in the message portion of your bill by including an ADC comparison between the current and past year’s usage. Household Water Usage Chart
You’ll also notice that we charge more for sewer because wastewater treatment is more expensive and complicated than water filtration. Each bill also includes an item labeled Account Maintenance Fee.
During our budget-approval process, Montgomery and Prince George’s County councils approve the rates. Public hearings on our proposed budgets are held each year before February 15, and any changes take effect on July 1. If you want more information about the hearing process or the public hearing schedule and locations, please contact the Public Communications Office at (301) 206–8100.
As an option, you can have a separate water meter installed. Based off our experience with Master Plumber’s in Montgomery County, this can run anywhere from $1,800 – $2,400. This includes the connection to a water line, a sub meter, an electrical remote reader attached to the side of your house and all necessary permits and inspections.