Utility Watchdog in San Diego

The Winter Monitoring Period

As you may know, the Water and Metro Wastewater Departments fall under the purview of San Diego's Public Utilities division. Basically, the Water Department brings you water and the Wastewater Department takes sewer away. The charges for both of these services are located on your bimonthly water bill. At UCAN, we regularly get questions about the Sewer Service Charge. To accurately explain this charge, we need to find that Winter Monitoring Period.

According to the City's website, the Winter Monitoring period is used to calculate an individual's bimonthly sewer charge. The City did not want to charge a flat, uniform rate to all water customers in the city of San Diego. Instead, it elected to use a formula to calculate an individualized sewer rate for each individual account. An individual sewer rate, according to the City, makes sure that you aren't paying for your neighbor's sewer use. And which formula would this be? The Winter Monitoring Period.

"Every winter, primarily during the months of December through March, the City monitors the amount of water each customer uses. The winter months are when the measuring takes place because that is when the highest percentage of water used is returned to the sewer system. The City monitors your water usage during the two billing cycles and uses the total from the cycle with the least amount of usage to calculate your sewer rate."

This Sewer Rate then goes into effect, for a year, on the billing cycle that includes July 1st. 

If you moved into your home after the Winter Monitoring Period, you are charged a flat rate.  A flat rate the City of San Diego wanted to do away with by implementing the Winter Monitoring Period.