A District service fee went into effect on December 1, 2014. The District assesses a service fee based on the size of each customer’s water tap (see service fee comparison chart below). The service fee will be billed by Denver Water on each customer’s monthly water bill. The revenue will be collected by Denver Water and remitted to the District.
Monthly Service Fee As of January 2018
If you have questions about the service fee, please contact the District at 303-979-2333.
From 1996 through 2014, Southwest Metropolitan did not charge customers for reliable delivery of high quality water obtained from Denver Water, nor for collection and transportation of all wastewater discharged by District customers to the Littleton – Englewood Wastewater Treatment Plant. District operations were largely funded from income generated from the investment of reserve funds. The extraordinary drop in interest rates over the past few years and the need to spend down the District’s reserve fund by over $12.0 million to rehabilitate aging sewer infrastructure made use of investment income to fund District operations untenable.
After extensive analysis and consideration of multiple financing options, the Southwest Metropolitan Board of Directors imposed a $1.00 per month water and sewer service fee on all District customers beginning December 2014. The fee is based on the size of the water service pipe serving each property so those customers with larger than typical single family sized water taps pay slightly more than nearly all residential customers.
Despite the imposition of the service fee in 2014, Southwest continues to experience operating deficits of up to $1.0 million per year. Again, this practice is untenable and will ultimately result in the District being unable to provide safe, reliable water delivery and wastewater collection services to residents. In order to avoid such a circumstance, the Board of Directors has determined that service fee revenue must match operating expenses within the next three years. The annual increases in the water and sewer service fee increased from $2.00 per month in 2017, to $5.00 in 2018. Increases beyond 2018 will be evaluated on an annual basis during preparation and consideration of each year’s budget.
The $60.00 per year charge for a typical residential water tap is well below the amount it costs to provide the services supplied to customers, and the amount charged by all surrounding water and sewer utilities. Typically, water and sewer utilities in the Denver Metropolitan Area charge between $150 and $250 for the same services provided by Southwest Metropolitan. As an example, the owner of a $300,000 home in Platte Canyon Water and Sanitation District pays $169.65 for the exact same services received by Southwest Metropolitan customers.