Across the approximately 50,000 water and 21,000 wastewater systems in the U.S., the need for investment in water and wastewater utility infrastructure is widely recognized. In 2021 and 2022, Bluefield forecasted US$586.00 billion of capital expenditures and US$1.06 trillion in operating expenditures for municipal utilities over the next decade. This number has trended upward because of aging systems, population increases in urban areas, and efforts to expand existing water infrastructure.
This Insight Report includes analysis of water and wastewater utility pricing in 50 U.S. metropolitan areas across 56 water and sewer utilities to identify key trends in municipal utility bills.
Regions and cities evaluated:
Data is a key component to this analysis. Our team has compiled relevant data in Bluefield’s Data Navigator Platform.
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Table of Contents
- Water & Wastewater Monthly Bills for U.S. Cities, 2012-2021
- Regional Rate Comparison for Residential Water & Wastewater Bills
- City Pricing Index for Water & Wastewater
- Changes in Household Water & Wastewater Bills, 2021-2022
- Utilities’ Price Structure Complexity and Bill Size
- Implementing Residential Municipal Water & Wastewater Rate Increases
- Water Rate Mechanisms by State
- Water & Wastewater Utility by City, Average Water Consumption (m3 per month)
- The utilities surveyed collectively provide potable water and wastewater collection and treatment services to approximately 20% of the U.S. population.
- Residential water and wastewater bills were calculated based on a 30-day billing period for standard 5/8” meters and reflect rates effective from 1 July 2021 to 1 June 2022 for various municipalities, respectively.
- Bills were calculated using a benchmark national average consumption level in addition to specific regional average consumption levels to allow for a range of comparative conclusions to be drawn.
- Cities were grouped into four regions (Northeast, Midwest, South, and West) closely associated with those established by the U.S. Census Bureau in order to identify relevant regional variations in water and wastewater pricing.
- Unless otherwise specified by a surveyed utility, monthly residential wastewater usage is assumed to be 100% that of potable water.
- For cities that bill based on individual household Winter Average Consumption—or other seasonal averages—a uniform monthly consumption was assumed for all residents within the metropolitan area.
- When applicable, wastewater rates exclude charges for stormwater and/or impervious surface runoff.