Seattle Public Utlities, Media Relations

May 24, 2001

Public Hearing Set for
Residential Water Rate Change
City Considers Proposed Third Tier Rate Structure
for High-Volume Water Use

SEATTLE - The Seattle City Council has scheduled a public hearing about a proposed temporary residential water rate change that would affect high-volume water customers.   The hearing is set for May 30, 5:30 p.m. in City Council Chambers, 11th Floor of the Seattle Municipal Building, 600 Fourth Avenue, Seattle.

The proposal from Seattle Mayor Paul Schell would add a temporary third tier to current residential water rates, increasing rates for single-family homes that use large volumes of water during the summer.  The third tier would affect about 13 percent of residential customers (about 19,000 customers total).

Right now, residential customers pay $2.16 per hundred cubic feet of water up to 500 cubic feet per month and, during the summer (May 16-Sept. 15), the rate increases to $2.85 per hundred cubic feet for water use above 500 cubic feet per month.  Schell's proposal calls for a third tier of $5.70 per hundred cubic feet for use above 1500 cubic feet per month during the summer.  The City Council has indicated it will consider Schell's proposal but will also consider a different rate of $11.40 per hundred cubic feet above 1500 cubic feet per month during the summer.

The typical single-family residence uses about 900 cubic feet of water per month during the summer and about 600 cubic feet of water per month (at the lower rate of $2.16) during the rest of the year.

If approved, the proposed third tier would be in effect this year from July 16 - September 15 and next year from May 16 - September 15.  The measure is designed to encourage more efficient summer water use by high-volume customers.

For information about water supply and conservation, visit or call (206) 684-SAVE.

In addition to providing more than 1.3 million customers in the Seattle metropolitan area with a reliable water supply, Seattle Public Utilities provides essential sewer, drainage, solid waste and engineering services that safeguard public health, maintain the City's infrastructure, and protect, conserve and enhance the region's environmental resources.

                      Contact:  Sheila Strehle, (206) 684-7688