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Hayward OKs water, sewer service rate hikes

HAYWARD — Water and sewer service rates will go up an average 3 percent for most Hayward customers starting in October, and another 3 percent the following year.
But for the first time in many years, the city is not increasing water usage rates, said Alex Ameri, head of Hayward utilities services.
House owners with a five-eighths-inch water meter will see the fixed service fee, charged every two months, rise from $16 to $20 on Oct. 1. The bimonthly fee will go up again, from $20 to 24, on Oct. 1, 2018.
House owners who use up to 100 gallons of water a day in two months will see their sewer bills rise 2.5 percent starting in October, and another 2.5 percent the following year.
The bimonthly sewer bill for homeowners who use up to 50 gallons of water a day will go up from $8.72 to $8.94, beginning Oct. 1, then to $9.39 on Oct. 1, 2018. Homeowners who use between 62.5 and 100 gallons of water a day will pay $17.88, starting on Oct. 1, before eventually paying $18.77 after Oct. 1, 2018.
Sewer bills will go up 5 percent over the next two years for homeowners who use more than 100 gallons of water a day, along with mobile home owners and multi-family home owners. Mobile home owners will pay $21.90 every two months starting Oct. 1, then $22.99 a year later. Multi-family home owners will pay $27.85 after Oct. 1 and eventually pay $29.24 next year.
The Hayward City Council unanimously approved the rate increases last week.
The fixed service fee varies based on water meter sizes and primarily cover costs that are not tied to the city’s water purchases, such as meter reading, billing, customer service and repairs, Ameri said.
At $20 for the upcoming fiscal year, the city’s fixed service fee is lower than those assessed by the Alameda County Water District, East Bay Municipal Utility District and Dublin San Ramon Services District, which charge $51.92, $45.20 and $35.23 every two months, respectively.
The bimonthly fixed service fee for low-income house owners will increase from $5.60 to $7 on Oct. 1, rising to $8.40 on Oct. 1, 2018. The low-income discount is available for residential water users with gross incomes ranging from $34,150 for a single person to $48,750 for a family of four.
“Even with the proposed adjustments, Hayward’s fixed fee is still very low when compared to nearby water agencies,” city senior management analyst Corinne Ferreyra wrote in a July 11 report.
Commercial property owners who use up to 1,250 gallons of water a day will see their average bimonthly water bill rise from $728 to $736. That is lower than the Dublin San Ramon Services District, at $801, but higher than what the East Bay Municipal Utility District and Alameda County Water District charge commercial customers, $553 and $502, respectively.
“The neighboring agencies that you see here either buy none of the expensive, high-quality water from the (San Francisco Public Utilities Commission), or very little of that,” Ameri told the City Council at its July 11 meeting.
“Alameda County Water (District) is the only one that purchases 25 percent of their water from the Hetch Hetchy (reservoir),” he said.
About 85 percent of the city’s water comes directly from the Hetch Hetchy Reservoir in Yosemite National Park, while the remaining 15 percent is “a blend of Hetch Hetchy (water), basically, that has been stored in local reservoirs at San Antonio (Alameda County) and Calaveras (Santa Clara County),” Ameri said.
Commercial water users’ sewer bills will rise by 7 percent annually until 2019, with rates that vary by the volume and strength of discharged waste.
“When we get a new business, it affects the rates in that the rates go down slightly, and when you have a business that reduces their discharge or implements pre-treatment, it affects our rates,” Ameri said.
Contact Darin Moriki at 510-293-2480 or follow him at

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