Consumption Based Wastewater Billing

  • A small portion of your utility bill for wastewater is based on your home's average water consumption during the preceding winter months of October-April. This is called the winter water average.

    Under this format, every customer will pay at least $56.80 per billing period (for two months of service), plus the winter water average usage at 56¢ per unit. Each unit of water is equivalent to 748 gallons. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, customers will pay at least $59.20 plus the winter water average usage at 58¢ per unit.

    • This excludes water used during the summer months for outdoor and recreational purposes that does not go into the City's wastewater system.
    • Once your average winter water use is established, your wastewater charge will be set for the year. This is recalculated each July, based on the previous winter's water use. 

    Use less, pay less – use more, pay more

    Many customers will see little change in their bills. However, homes that use less water could see a slight decrease. Homes that use more will pay more.

    Lower your utility bill

    Customers may help reduce their bill for wastewater by using less water each year during the winter months of October-April.

    • Run the dishwasher and washing machine with full loads only.
    • Repair leaky toilets and faucets.
    • Install water-saving shower heads and faucet aerators.

    Annually, water usage between October-April will be reviewed to determine a winter water average. This average will be used for the following fiscal year, July 1 to June 30.

    Lower your consumption by conserving water 

    You could lower your household water consumption by 30% by installing high-efficiency:

    • Garden hose nozzles
    • Showerheads
    • Faucet aerators
    • Toilets

    For more information about these products and rebate programs, contact at 503-618-2130 or Robin.Pederson@GreshamOregon.gov.

    Read more water conservation tips.

    Background

    The City Council approved this billing method for wastewater to each home in Gresham on Oct. 20, 2015.   

    Frequently asked questions

  • Why did the City change the way it bills residential customers for wastewater?

    This method of billing is a way to improve equity.

    • Under this method, households that use more water will pay more.
    • The new method also provides opportunities for households that use very little water to pay less.
    • Most large utilities have a modern wastewater rate structure with a water use component.
    • The City Council now supports a rate structure that is partially based on how much water each household uses during the winter months of October through April.
    How will the City know how much wastewater comes from my household?

    The City measures and averages water use during the months of October through April.

    This is a reasonable way to determine the average amount of wastewater generated from each household, because it excludes water used during the summer months for outdoor and recreational purposes that does not go into the wastewater system.

    Is the entire wastewater bill based on water use?

    No. Under this method, every customer will pay at least $56.80 per billing period (for two months of service), plus an additional 56¢ for every unit of water used.

    Each unit of water is equivalent to 748 gallons. Effective Jan. 1, 2019, customers will pay at least $59.20, plus the winter water average usage at 58¢ per unit.

    Does the charge for wastewater vary each billing period?

    No. Once your average winter water use is established, your wastewater charge is set for the year. This will be recalculated each July.

    Will my winter water use average calculation ever change?

    Yes, your wastewater charge will be recalculated every year in July based on the previous winter water use.

    Is this type of rate structure used in other parts of Oregon?

    Yes, most Oregon wastewater utilities use this method of billing.

    Example utilities include: Portland, Clean Water Services, Salem, Eugene, Oak Lodge Sanitary District, Lake Oswego and Wilsonville.

    Does this method of billing raise more money for the wastewater utility?

    No, this method is designed to generate approximately the same revenue to operate, maintain and improve the wastewater system as the previous method did.

    Rockwood Water People’s Utility District provides my water. How do you know what my use is?

    Rockwood Water provides the City of Gresham with water use information.

  • Questions?

    Contact Utilities at 503-618-2373 or Utility.Billing@GreshamOregon.gov