Water Rate Frequently Asked Questions

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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.

This webpage will be updated as questions and comments are received. The information on this page is also available in a Water Rate Frequently Asked Questions PDF Document.

  • Water Rate General Information

    • What is the history of water rate adjustments for single-family residential customers?

    • How is the Water Department funded?

    • What do water rates fund?

  • Water Rate Classes

    • How many different water rate classes are there?

    • What is the proposed 2019 rate increase for each customer class?

    • What are the dollar amounts of revenue estimated in the Water Rate Study instead of percent increases?

    • Does each customer pay the same base fee and use fee?

    • How many residential customers fall into Single-Family Residential Tier 1 usage?

    • Do all customers pay water rate increases?

    • Do businesses and industrial customers get more favorable water rate increases or subsidies?

    • Why are the proposed increases for single-family and multi-family residential customer different?

  • Setting Water Rates

    • What is the water rate setting process?

    • How does the Water Department calculate water rates?

    • Does the Water Department look at just one water rate option each year?

    • Who approves water rates?

    • How often are water rates adjusted?

    • Will the City of Hillsboro seek a water rate increase next year?

    • Is the public notified about proposed water rate adjustments?

    • How can customers provide feedback throughout the year and during the water rate setting process?

  • Proposed 2019 Water Rate Increase

    • Will there be a water rate increase in 2018?

    • What is the proposed 2019 water rate increase?

    • If the proposed 2019 water rate increase is approved, how will it impact my City Utility Bill?

    • Would the proposed 2019 water rate increase affect the Sanitary Sewer, Surface Water Management, or Transportation Utility services?

  • Water System Development Charges

    • What are Water System Development Charges (SDCs)?

    • What are the current Water SDCs?

    • Who sets Water SDCs?

    • Why are Water SDCs important?

    • What do Water SDCs fund?

    • How are Water SDCs calculated?

    • How do Water SDCs benefit current customers?

    • What is the history of the City of Hillsboro’s Water SDCs?

    • Do other City departments have SDCs?

  • Water Rate Drivers

    • What are the drivers contributing to the proposed 2019 water rate increase?

    • Does the current water system really need improvements or maintenance?

  • Additional Water Source for Hillsboro

    • Does the City of Hillsboro need another water source?

    • Has construction started on the Willamette Water Supply Program (WWSP)?

    • The City of Hillsboro and the Tualatin Valley Water District (TVWD) are partners on this project. Did any other water agencies show interest in participating in the WWSP?

    • What other water sources were considered?

    • What are the benefits of adding the mid-Willamette River at Wilsonville to to the City of Hillsboro's water supply portfolio?

    • What is the water quality of the Willamette River?

    • How will the WWSP affect the City of Hillsboro’s monthly utility bill?

    • Why should the current community have to pay for a future water system?

    • Is the construction of the waterline from the mid-Willamette River being built primarily for South Hillsboro?

    • How much will the project cost?

    • How will the project be paid for?

    • Where can I find more information about Hillsboro’s additional water supply, the Willamette Water Supply System?

  • Wholesale Water Customers

    • Does the proposed water rate increase apply to wholesale customers?

    • Why are the Hillsboro Water Department’s wholesale customers paying a different rate?

  • Water Affordability

    • Are there resources available for City of Hillsboro water customers living on a fixed income to help with the proposed water rate increase?

    • How do customers request payment assistance?

    • Are water services trying to rise to levels that force more people into public assistance for paying utilities that are essential?

    • Are customers just getting the same level of service for a higher price?

    • Is the City of Hillsboro considering a senior citizen water bill discount?

    • Social Security is not keeping up with cost of living. What can customers do?

  • Growth and New Development

    • Does growth in the City of Hillsboro affect the water system?

    • Can new home owners and businesses take on more of the cost?

    • Can the City of Hillsboro’s current infrastructure support the South Hillsboro growth?

  • Comparables

    • How does the water portion of the City of Hillsboro’s City Utility Bill compare across the United States?

  • Water Budget

    • Where can I locate further information about the Hillsboro Water Department’s current budget?

    • How is the Hillsboro Water Department’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2018-19 budget allocated?

  • City of Hillsboro Utility Bill

    • What are the different charges included on the City Utility Bill?

    • When are charges/fees adjusted?

    • How will the proposed 2019 water rate increase affect the typical single-family resident’s City Utility Bill?

    • In the future, will the water portion of the City Utility Bill be separated and sent as its own bill?

    • When will customers be moved from bi-monthly to monthly billing?

    • How will the monthly City Utility Bill be calculated?

    • What are the benefits of monthly billing?

    • Will monthly billing be cheaper than bi-monthly?

    • What is the cost of switching from bi-monthly billing to monthly billing?

    • Who can I contact to discuss the different charges on the City Utility Bill?

  • Reducing Water Charges

    • How can I lower my water bill and keep my lawn and garden green in the summer?

    • I currently reside in a townhouse/condominium/apartment and don't use water outside. Why is the water portion of my City Utility Bill so high?

    • Does the Water Department offer rebates for purchasing and installing water-efficient washing machines, toilets, and irrigation controllers?