Utility Billing FAQ
What do water, sewer and stormwater rates fund?
Water rates fund the infrastructure and operations to maintain and upgrade a complex system that allows us to collect, treat and deliver safe, reliable water and provide essential fire protection services. Water rates are carefully considered by Yelm City Council and city staff to ensure proper maintenance and infrastructure needs while keeping rates affordable.
What will my rates be in 2019?
The total rate for water, sewer, and stormwater utilities for a typical residential home will be $148.66 per month. Rates will be evaluated again by the end of 2020.
Why are utility rate adjustments necessary?
An adjustment to water, sewer and stormwater rates is necessary to cover the cost of operation and maintenance for our system. The annual cost to maintain the water system is approximately $1.9 million. An additional $12.3 million in capital improvements are needed from 2017-2022 to maintain service standards, and ongoing costs to repair and upgrade the system.
The Water Reuse Facility requires extensive replacements and upgrades to remain viable. Previous lack of funding led to deferred maintenance to the reuse facility and our wastewater collections and treatment systems have not kept up with the demand.
Who approved the rate adjustments and when did they take affect?
In 2017, the Yelm City Council and city staff worked during open public meetings to develop a sustainable funding plan. The rate increases were approved by the council on December 12, 2017 and rates became effective January 1, 2018.
Will consumption affect my bill, and what can I do to reduce my water consumption?
We operate on a tiered usage rate, meaning the less you use, the less you pay. Community conservation efforts help keep utility rates down across the board. You can reduce consumption in your home by installing efficient fixtures, and performing consistent maintenance. If it were not for continued conservation efforts, we would need to build infrastructure more storage, treatment and distribution facilities to keep up with the demand for water. Please contact the City’s Public Works Department at 360-458-8406 to find out more about conservation measures.
Does the city offer a reduced rate?
We offer a discounted rate for senior citizens and disabled community members. 2018 was the first year the city has implemented a 50 percent reduced base rate for those citizens and the city will continue to seek options to lower utility costs.
How do I request a new water service?
You can submit an Application for Utility Service online or you can fill out and submit an application at City Hall. You will be prompted to enter a username and password.
How do I get my water turned back on if it is shut off, and how long will it take?
Please allow a minimum of 24 hours to connect new service. If your water has been shut off for non-payment, water service will typically be restored the same day if the past due balance is received by 4 p.m.