Rates

Current Water, Sewer and Refuse Rates

Effective July 1, 2021 – Dec. 31, 2021

  • Water Rate: $4.91 per 1,000 gallons of metered water consumption.
  • Sewer Rate: $9.44 per 1,000 gallons of metered water consumption.
  • Refuse Rate (residential accounts only): $318.61 annually, billed quarterly and prorated on a daily basis.
  • The rate for activating new water service accounts or reactivation of service due to repair or delinquency is $25.

Note: As part of Arlington's Fiscal Year 2022 budget, the County Board voted to ensure that sufficient revenues are recovered through water and wastewater utility rates and that rate and fee structures are aligned with the County’s financial objectives and the community’s values.

Approval of changes in rates and the rate structures followed an extensive study, with broad public engagement, that began in 2019 and concluded in 2021. Read the rate study final report(PDF, 9MB) .

Billing Schedule

Residential

  • Single-family and duplex homes are billed quarterly for water, sewer, and trash and recycling services.
  • Volume-based water and sewer charges are derived from water consumption as determined by a meter reading. You must keep the water meter free of obstruction by cars, landscaping or other objects.
  • Your bill may also include charges for service requests such as additional carts, special pickup or leaf mulch/wood chip delivery.

Multifamily and Commercial

  • Apartments and commercial businesses are billed monthly for water and sewer services.
  • Volume-based water and sewer charges are derived from water consumption as determined by a monthly meter reading. Only County staff is authorized to enter meter vaults.

Pre-January 2022 Rate Structure

Pre-Jan. 1, 2022 rates for water and sewer services are based directly on the number of gallons of water used.

Water usage is measured by a water meter installed adjacent to each residence or business. Sanitary sewer services are charged based on the amount of water used as determined by the water meter readings.

Rate Example

If a residential family uses 15,000 gallons of water in a quarter (which is typical), they would be charged for 15,000 gallons at the current water rate plus 15,000 gallons at the current sewer rate. These charges are detailed on the billing statement. 

NEW! Rate Structure - Effective Jan. 1, 2022

Image of bill insert highlighting 2022 rate structure for water and sewer billing.(PDF, 359KB) In the fall of 2019, Arlington County commenced a utility rate study that reviewed the costs associated with water and wastewater services. This was the first study of this type since 2004 and it concluded with the selection of a rate structure that aligned with the community’s values while also meeting the long-term costs of providing safe, high-quality and reliable water services and the collection and treatment of wastewater.  

What’s New?

Currently, the County has a simple rate structure, in which all customers are charged a single rate based upon their consumption. This type of rate structure does not account for the many ways that different customers impose costs upon the system. The new, more equitable rate structure introduces four new components. It is important to note that the new rate structure will not generate additional revenue - it will only change the way that costs are assessed amongst our customers.

Use our Water Bill Calculator tool to see how these changes may impact your bill!

Rates by Customer Class

Different classes of customers will pay different rates based on the different costs which each customer places on the water system. Customers are classified as residential, commercial or multi-family.

ADOPTED RATE STRUCTURE (JAN. 1, 2022)

Residential

Charge Category

Cost

Base Charge (water)

$13.26 / Quarterly

Base Charge (Sewer)

$10.76 / Quarterly

Annual Household Solid Waste Rate

$ 318.61

Water Use (Less than 9000 Gallons)

$3.71/ Gallon

Water Use Greater than 9000 Gallons)

$5.94 / Gallon

Sewer Use (capped at winter consumption level)

$9.61 / Gallon

 

Multi-Family

Charge Category

Cost

Base Charge (Water)

$9.10 / Month

Base Charge (Sewer)

$7.42 / Month

Water Use

$4.42/ Gallon

Sewer Use

$9.61 / Gallon

 

 

 

Commercial

Charge Category

Cost

Base Charge (Water)

$9.10 / Month

Base Charge (Sewer)

$7.42 / Month

 

 

Water Use

$4.79/ Gallon

Sewer Use

$9.61 / Gallon

 

Fees – All Customers

Charge Category

Cost

New Account Fee

$25.00

Service Disconnection

Free

Service Reconnection

$25.00

Insufficient Funds Fee

$50.00

Meter Test Fee

$75.00

 

Base Charge

Customers will pay a base charge per billing cycle to recover some of the fixed costs of operating and administering the system. A base charge recovers the costs associated with billing, meter reading, collection and customer service. These costs are incurred each billing cycle for each customer regardless of consumption. Arlington is currently the only jurisdiction in the area without a base fee.

Tiered Water Rates (Residential Only)

The implementation of two tiers for residential customers is designed to separate non-discretionary, essential use from elective use by charging a higher rate for higher volume usage. For example, if a residential family uses 12,000 (12TG) of water in a quarter, billing for consumption would be calculated as follows:

$3.71 x 9 TG = $33.39
$5.94 x 3 TG = $17.82

Total volumetric water charges for 12 TG = $51.21

Seasonal Sewer Adjustments (Residential Only)

Currently customers pay for sewer based on the volume of water used. However, this method does not address water that is not returned to the sewer system (e.g., irrigating lawns & gardens). Winter period billing presumes that the amount of measured water consumption in the winter months, when there are few exterior uses, best reflects actual wastewater generation year-round. Using this model, a customer’s sewer generation would be estimated at the lower of their winter water consumption, or their current water consumption.