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2021 Residential Water Rates

New water rates start Jan. 1

In October, the Denver Board of Water Commissioners adopted rate changes to help pay for our new Lead Reduction Program that launched in January 2020. The rate change will take effect Jan. 1, 2021, and will increase monthly bills for most single-family customers by less than 70 cents if they use water at similar volumes to 2020.

The program will replace an estimated 64,000 to 84,000 customer-owned lead service lines with lead-free lines over 15 years at no direct charge to the customer. Denver Water’s rates are designed to help pay for this and other critical projects to keep our system operating efficiently.

There are about 100 major projects identified in our five-year capital plan, including the Lead Reduction Program, replacing pipes and upgrading water treatment facilities.

All of our costs, including day-to-day operations and unplanned work, such as main breaks, are paid for by rates, fees and other sources, such as bond and hydropower sales, not taxes.

2021 water rates

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north system renewal
The new, state-of-the-art Northwater Treatment Plant under construction north of Golden will be capable of treating up to 75 million gallons of water per day when finished in 2024. Photo credit: Denver Water.

To keep water affordable and to encourage efficiency, Denver Water’s rate structure includes three tiers based on how much water you use. Indoor water use — for bathing, cooking and flushing toilets — is essential for human life and is charged at the lowest rate. Efficient outdoor water use is charged in the second tier (middle rate), followed by additional outdoor water use in the third tier (highest rate).

In addition to variable charges based on water use, the rate structure also includes a monthly fixed charge based on the size of your water meter.

Why are we raising rates?

In response to the economic consequences of the pandemic in our community, Denver Water has cut its costs for 2021 and the rate increase has been scaled back to cover only what’s needed for our new Lead Reduction Program.

The program, which started in January 2020, will reduce the risk of lead getting into drinking water from customer-owned lead service lines and internal plumbing that may contain lead.

And our employees continue their around-the-clock work running a large, intricate system that spans 13 counties across Colorado. With a five-year, $1.5 billion capital plan, we’re staying on top of the upgrades and new projects needed to keep this system operating efficiently.

Our proactive and strategic approach includes replacing more than 100,000 feet of water pipe each year, upgrading and replacing aging infrastructure and planning for a future that includes more extreme weather patterns.

Bill impacts

We are slightly increasing the monthly fixed charge on your bill to ensure we recover 20% of our revenue from fixed charges, which helps us even out our revenue stream over the year. This also allows for reduced reliance on revenues that are based on how much water customers use, which has become increasingly difficult to predict in recent years given more frequent weather fluctuations.

If you’re like most residential customers who have a 3/4-inch meter, the fixed monthly charge will increase 33 cents, to $16.46 per month. If you live in Denver, have a 3/4-inch meter, and use 102,000 gallons of water in 2021, you will see your monthly bill increase by about 70 cents.

If you live in the suburbs and use 102,000 gallons in 2021, your monthly bill will rise by between 45 cents and 54 cents under an agreement between Denver Water and its suburban distributor partners for 2021 to share costs associated with the Lead Reduction Program.

Being water efficient brings benefits

We will always encourage our customers to be efficient with their water use.

Using less water here means more water can be kept in the mountain reservoirs, rivers and streams that fish live in and Coloradans enjoy. And using less water also can lower your monthly water bills, saving money.

On the heels of a hot, dry summer and fall, Denver Water’s supply and drought experts are meeting regularly and keeping a close watch on weather forecasts, drought levels and soil conditions in the state’s mountains. Winter is a critical time for Denver’s water supply, which starts as snow.

Your 2021 water rates at work

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Denver Water Crew member
Denver Water crews work in our community’s neighborhoods throughout the year, ensuring a clean, safe, reliable water supply. Photo credit: Denver Water.

In 2021, Denver Water will continue work on projects that are part of our five-year, $1.5 billion capital plan. We are staying on top of the upgrades and new projects needed to keep the water system running. Some specific projects include:

  • Lead Replacement Program. The largest public health campaign in Denver Water’s history will reduce the risk of lead getting into customers’ drinking water. The program will replace over a 15-year period the estimated 64,000 to 84,000 lead service lines in our service area at no direct charge to the customer. Also, customers enrolled in the program are being provided with water pitchers and filters to use for drinking, cooking and preparing infant formula.
  • North System Renewal. Our north system was constructed in the 1930s, when the surrounding area was mostly farmland. Now, 80 years later, the north system is reaching the end of its life span. The renewal project includes building the new, state-of-the-art Northwater Treatment Plant, installing an 8.5-mile water pipeline and repurposing the Moffat Treatment Plant.
  • Gross Reservoir Expansion. This major component of our long-term, multipronged approach (including promoting water efficiency, recycling water and responsibly sourcing new supply) will help deliver safe, reliable water to the 1.5 million people in our service area today and the additional people expected to live here in the future. Additional water storage from the project will help prevent future shortfalls during droughts and minimize an imbalance between our north and south collection systems.
  • Pipe replacement. We replace more than 100,000 feet of pipe a year and have a goal of replacing about 140,000 feet of pipe every year by 2024. Denver Water has more than 3,000 miles of pipe in the ground.

Questions about how 2021 rates affect your bill?

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Customer Care team on zoom call
Photo credit: Denver Water.

If you’d like to talk about your bill, contact Denver Water’s Customer Care team at 303-893-2444 or fill out their contact webform and we’ll reach out to you.

A representative can help you calculate impacts to your bill based on your own water use.

Our commitment to you

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Hands Washing- 20 seconds can save a life.
Photo credit: Denver Water.

In addition to wearing masks, health officials this year have repeatedly urged regular hand-washing to reduce the risk of spreading COVID-19.

And in a year when so much has changed, Denver Water’s commitment to the 1.5 million people who rely on us hasn’t wavered.

Our people continue their work to collect, clean and deliver safe, reliable drinking water to you, daily.

Learn more at denverwaterTAP.org.

Residential Treated Water Rates

For meters read on or after Jan. 1, 2021.

2021 Residential Rates: Inside City of Denver

Monthly Fixed Charges, $ per Bill

Meter Size (inches) Monthly Charge
⅝″ & ¾″ $16.46
1″ $23.17
1 ½″ $43.98
2″ $72.85
3″ $154.75
4″ $269.55
6″ $598.51
8″ $1,058.37
10″ $1,649.82
12″ $2,373.56

Treated Water Volume Rates, $ per 1,000 gallons

Single-Family Residential Customers

Tier Monthly consumption (gallons) Rate per 1,000 gallons
Tier 1 0 to average winter consumption (AWC) — see Note 3 $2.39
Tier 2 AWC + 15,000 $4.30
Tier 3 Greater than AWC + 15,000 $5.74

Private Fireline

Fireline Size (inches) Monthly Charge
1″ $3.82
2″ $6.37
4″ $9.85
6″ $14.06
8″ $24.61
10″ $35.16
12″ $56.26
16″ $140.65
   
Fire Hydrants $14.06

2021 Residential Rates: Outside City — Read & Bill

Monthly Fixed Charges, $ per Bill

Meter Size (inches) Monthly Charge
⅝″ & ¾″ $16.46
1″ $23.17
1 ½″ $43.98
2″ $72.85
3″ $154.75
4″ $269.55
6″ $598.51
8″ $1,058.37
10″ $1,649.82
12″ $2,373.56

Treated Water Volume Rates, $ per 1,000 gallons

Single-Family Residential Customers

Tier Monthly consumption (gallons) Rate per 1,000 gallons
Tier 1 0 to average winter consumption (AWC) — see Note 3 $2.74
Tier 2 AWC + 15,000 $4.93
Tier 3 Greater than AWC + 15,000 $6.58

Private Fireline

Fireline Size (inches) Monthly Charge
1″ $2.59
2″ $4.31
4″ $6.67
6″ $9.52
8″ $16.67
10″ $23.81
12″ $38.10
16″ $95.25
   
Fire Hydrants $9.52

2021 Residential Rates: Outside City — Total Service

Monthly Fixed Charges, $ per Bill

Meter Size (inches) Monthly Charge
⅝″ & ¾″ $16.46
1″ $23.17
1 ½″ $43.98
2″ $72.85
3″ $154.75
4″ $269.55
6″ $598.51
8″ $1,058.37
10″ $1,649.82
12″ $2,373.56

Treated Water Volume Rates, $ per 1,000 gallons

Single-Family Residential Customers

Tier Monthly consumption (gallons) Rate per 1,000 gallons
Tier 1 0 to average winter consumption (AWC) — see Note 3 $3.69
Tier 2 AWC + 15,000 $6.64
Tier 3 Greater than AWC + 15,000 $8.86

Private Fireline

Fireline Size (inches) Monthly Charge
1″ $4.02
2″ $6.70
4″ $10.36
6″ $14.80
8″ $25.89
10″ $36.99
12″ $59.18
16″ $147.95
   
Fire Hydrants $14.80

2021 Treated Water Rates: Outside City — Wholesale

Monthly Fixed Charges, $ per Bill

Meter Size (inches) Monthly Charge
⅝″ & ¾″ $16.46
1″ $23.17
1 ½″ $43.98
2″ $72.85
3″ $154.75
4″ $269.55
6″ $598.51
8″ $1,058.37
10″ $1,649.82
12″ $2,373.56

Treated Water Volume Rates, $ per 1,000 gallons

Customer Class Rate per 1,000 gallons
Master Meter $4.41
Outside the Combined Service Area $4.59


Notes

  1. Applicability: See Chapter 2 of Denver Water's Operating Rules
  2. Payment: Bills are due and payable to Denver Water upon issuance. Monthly bills are delinquent 20 days after the billing date. Late charges will be assessed per Denver Water policy.
  3. Single Family AWC: A customer's average winter consumption (AWC) is used to determine the tier 1 threshold. The AWC is calculated by averaging each customer’s billed monthly water use from January through March, which is a way of determining essential indoor water use. Denver Water has set the tier 1 minimum threshold at 5,000 gallons. and a maximum of 15,000 gallons. For example, if the customer's AWC is less than 5,000 gallons, tier 1 is 0 to 5,000 gallons. If the AWC is over 15,000 gallons, tier 1 is 0 to 15,000 gallons. Volume rates are applied to billed monthly usage.