Sewer rates in South San Francisco will likely increase by 2% in July, up to $62.75 monthly for single-family residences and $56.33 for apartments.
The increase will cover rising costs to operate the service, including needed improvements to the system, according to the city.
This year’s increase will be followed by a 3% increase each year for the following four years, with rates eventually reaching $72 monthly for single-family residents and $65 for apartments in July 2026, according to a preliminary plan still subject to final approval. The council previously approved a five-year plan for increasing rates; the current fiscal year is the last in the plan.
Residential customers in the city pay fixed annual charges per dwelling unit while commercial customers pay based on use. Commercial rates are also set to increase by 2% this year.
The increase falls below the city’s average increase rate of 3.5% over the last 10 years.
South San Francisco’s rates for single-family homes this year will remain the sixth lowest out of 23 agencies providing the service in the county, according to the city.
“I know as a ratepayer when we see these increases it’s kind of a sticker shock,” Mayor Mark Nagales said. “But I want to emphasize that the money is being used … for the construction of a new sewer collection system, new treatment systems, operation maintenance and repair, all important functions.”
Improvements to the sewer collection system includes pipe replacements, and work to the wastewater treatment plant includes fortifications against sea level rise. Work is projected to cost $50 million over the next five years.
As required by state law, the city sent notices of the rate increase to the city’s 14,000 ratepayers. A majority protest would have blocked the increase. Six protests were received, according to the city. This year’s increase will be subject to final approval by the City Council in June, and each consecutive year’s increase will also be subject to approval in the corresponding year.
The city has a sewer rate assistance program that can save low-income residents up to $76 annually.
Go to ssf.net/departments/public-works/sewer-rates to learn more about the rate increase and the rebate program.