Combined water, sewer and stormwater prices for households in 30 major U.S. cities.
• Water prices pay for treating, pumping, and delivering water, while sewer prices cover the cost of cleansing the water that goes down the drain.
• Sewer prices are often higher than water prices because more energy and chemicals are required for treatment. Following the Clean Water Act, the federal government gave grants for new treatment plants during the 1970’s and 1980’s. Over the past three decades, however, new spending has been cut for local sewer infrastructure.
• Stormwater fees are not included in every city's monthly bill. Some cities use general tax revenues to pay for projects to reduce polluted runoff from streets and parking lots. However, these projects must then compete for funds with other departments like police and schools.
Source: Circle of Blue research, based on utility water rates
Rates current as of April 11, 2015. Monthly bill calculated for a family of four using 100 gallons per person per day.