The City of Hillsboro Water Department carefully manages drinking water rates and strives to ensure equity and affordability for all customers.
Water rates are designed so that all customers - including residential, commercial, and industrial users - pay their fair share based on how they use the City’s water system and how much water they use.
On November 12, 2019, the City of Hillsboro Utilities Commission approved separate water rate increases for each customer class effective January 1 to December 31, 2020.
The changes were applied specifically to the water portion of the City of Hillsboro utility bill, not the sanitary sewer, surface water, or transportation utility fees. Those are separately managed by the City of Hillsboro and Clean Water Services.
For answers to commonly answered water rate questions - including what water rates invest in and the main factors determining the cost of Hillsboro’s water - open the Water Rate Frequently Asked Questions PDF.
The four most significant factors determining the approved 2020 water rates include:
1. Protection of Public Health
Supplying customers with safe and reliable drinking water is Hillsboro Water’s highest priority. The state and federal governments set stringent standards for water safety. Hillsboro Water protects the water system and ensures the water delivered to local homes and businesses meets these standards, and is safe to drink and use, through:
- Source protection,
- Risk Assessment, and
- Emergency response planning.
2. Additional Water Supply
The Tualatin Valley Water District and the cities of Hillsboro and Beaverton are partnering to develop the Willamette Water Supply System as an additional water supply source.
The large scale, seismically-resilient water infrastructure project is currently under construction, and includes building:
- A new state-of-the-art water treatment plant,
- Reservoirs, and
- More than 30 miles of large-diameter transmission pipeline from the Willamette River to Hillsboro.
This new, reliable water supply, along with Hillsboro’s current water supply — the upper-Tualatin River — will support growth and provide an additional supply for Hillsboro residents and businesses for decades to come.
3. Water Treatment Production Capacity and Seismic Resiliency
In response to the need to provide additional water for growing communities in western Washington County, the Joint Water Commission (JWC) —owned in partnership by the cities of Hillsboro, Beaverton, Forest Grove and the Tualatin Valley Water District — is working to complete a multi-year water treatment expansion, improvements project, and facility plan for the JWC Water Treatment Plant.
The project addresses long-term water capacity and strengthens seismic resiliency while bringing the capacity of the plant from 75- to 85-million gallons (of water) per day.
4. Maintaining Essential Infrastructure
From treatment plants to reservoirs to pipelines, much of the system that delivers water to and around Hillsboro was built decades ago.
Hillsboro Water strategically upgrades, repairs, and in some cases replaces aging parts of the system to deliver safe, reliable drinking water to customers.
2020 Water Rate Adjustment Process
August 13, 2019
Hillsboro Water presented the proposed water rate increases for calendar year 2020 to the Utilities Commission at their regular monthly. Members of the public were welcome.
August 14, 2019
2020 Water Rates public input period began.
September 30, 2019
Public input period on proposed 2020 water rates closed at 5 pm.
October 7, 2019
The Utilities Commission hosted an Informational Session and Water Rate Public Hearing from 6 to 8 pm in the Hillsboro Civic Center Conference Room 113 at 150 East Main Street.
October 8, 2019
At their regular monthly meeting at 1:30 pm in the Hillsboro Civic Center Conference Room 207 at 150 East Main Street, the Utilities Commission reviewed public feedback received during the public input period and the Water Rate Public Hearing. Members of the public were welcome.
October 11, 2019
Responses to questions and concerns expressed during the Water Rate Public Hearing are posted in the 2020 Water Rates Frequently Asked Questions PDF.
To request a mailed copy, email Hillsboro Water Department or call 503-615-6702.
November 12, 2019
At their regular monthly meeting at 1:30 pm in the Hillsboro Civic Center Conference Room 207 at 150 East Main Street, the Utilities Commission reviewed public feedback and took action on the proposed 2020 water rates. Members of the public were welcome.
November 13, 2019
Results of the Utilities Commission action on the proposed water rates are posted on this webpage.
January 1, 2020
The water rate adjustments approved by the Commission took effect and were applied to the water portion of customers' utility bills.
View the Water Rate Frequently Asked Questions PDF with answers to commonly answered water rate questions, including:
- What do water rates fund?
- Does each customer pay the same base fee and use fee?
- What are the main factors driving the water rate increases?
- Are affordability resources available for water customers living on a fixed income?
- How does the water portion of the City of Hillsboro’s utility bill compare locally and nationally?
- Are rebates offered for purchasing and installing water-efficient appliances?