Water bills typically contain two parts: water supply charges and wastewater charges.
The majority of the costs associated with the water supply are for the pipes, treatment facilities, testing, and people involved with obtaining, treating, and delivering high-quality drinking water. It also covers the costs of constructing, maintaining, and replacing pipes and other infrastructure.
Starting in 2018, Waukesha added a return flow charge to begin to help pay for the costs of building and operating a return flow system, including a 23-mile pipeline, that will restore water back to the Great Lakes Basin. This is a requirement of our approval to switch to a Lake Michigan water supply.
The other portion of your water bill is the wastewater charge. That pays for collecting and treating the wastewater you generate and then returning it to the environment as treated, clean water.
Water rates will increase over the next several years to cover ongoing expenses, as well as the costs of the Great Water Alliance project. The Lake Michigan water supply project is on time and on budget and rate increases are expected to be in line with past projections.
Typical water bills are projected to increase from the January 2023 level of $102 per month on the following projected schedule:
- October 2023, to $117 per month (+14.7%).
- October 2024, to $135 per month (+15.4%).
- January 2026, to $147 per month (+8.9%).
- January 2027, to $154 per month (+4.8%).
For more information on rate increases, see the FAQ portion of this website.