Clean Water Services goes through a budget process from January to June each year to help guide what investments the community will make in water resources management and establish sewer and stormwater rates for the following fiscal year.
Everything we do at Clean Water Services aims to protect public health, while enhancing the natural environment of the watershed. The rates you pay support our work in protecting water resources as we respond to the changing needs of our community. This requires investments in aging infrastructure, ensuring the long-term health of rivers and streams, and meeting stricter federal and state pollution control rules.
Clean Water Services’ proposed Fiscal Year 2022-23 Budget would increase the regional sanitary sewer and surface water management rates by 4% or $2.29 per month for the average customer in urban Washington County. These rates go into effect July 1, 2022.
Customers are always invited and encouraged to take part in the budget process.
- On Friday, May 6, 2022, 9 am – 2 pm, the CWS Budget Committee, reviewed the proposed budget, considered approval, and made their recommendations to the Board. Watch a recording of the meeting.
- Tuesday, June 21, 2022, 10 am, the CWS Board conducted a public hearing to consider and adopt the budget. A recording of the meeting is available on the Washington County YouTube channel.
CWS serves more than 600,000 customers of urban Washington County, and the county is expected to add 90,000 people by 2030. Planning well is essential to meet service needs in an effective and cost-efficient manner.
- Fiscal Year 2022-23 Adopted Rates and Charges (PDF)
- Fiscal Year 2022-23 Proposed Budget (PDF, 10MB)
- CWS Utility Rates 101 (YouTube)
- CWS Rate Plan: Past, Current and Future (YouTube)
- Financial Plan and Cost of Service Study (YouTube)
- Business Services Department
How are sewer and surface water management rates set?
Oregon law allows Clean Water Services to collect fees for sewer and surface water management, similar to other government utilities such as water suppliers. The Board of Directors, your publicly elected representatives, formally set the rates and charges after a series of public hearings. The rate structure generates sufficient revenue to operate, maintain, and improve the community’s sanitary sewer system and surface water management.
How does Clean Water Services reduce long-term costs?
CWS has reinvented the utility mindset to bring value to our ratepayers by building workforce capacity, investing in lean approaches, and serving as a technology incubator and accelerator for positive impact across our region, the nation, and throughout the world.
Energy Efficiency. CWS energy investments pay big dividends, not only for the environment but also for the bottom line. Some of these energy-reduction efforts include:
- Saved at least $300,000 per year from energy reduction projects since 2009.
- Built a large solar energy facility that will save $400,000 in energy costs during its lifetime. This project follows two other solar projects that will also lead to savings.
- Measuring and tracking energy use and implementing an energy savings plan as an official Energy Star Partner — a program coordinated by the Environmental Protection Agency.
- Improving operating efficiency at our four wastewater treatment facilities — part of the Energy Trust’s Energy Improvement Program.
- Our Rock Creek and Durham facilities produce 25-50% of their annual energy demand through cogeneration and solar power generation.
Nutrient Recovery. We recover nutrients through the treatment process that can be reused. These processes save time, money, and capacity.
- These facilities enhance the treatment process by removing phosphorus and ammonia from recycle flows to the mainstream wastewater flow that would otherwise have to be retreated.
Smart Water. CWS uses sensors and controls to provide optimal services to our region, including wastewater operations and acting as an influencer of smart stormwater systems.
Why are rates different from city to city?
Clean Water Services and its partner cities adopted a new rate model in 2008 that provides stable funding for regional services and provides flexibility for CWS and its partner cities to provide local services:
- Clean Water Services’ Board of Directors sets the regional portion of the sanitary sewer rate and the SWM rate for urban Washington County customers.
- Local rates are set by local service providers. Seven partner cities — Beaverton, Cornelius, Forest Grove, Hillsboro, Sherwood, Tigard, and Tualatin — provide local services in their communities. Clean Water Services provides local services in urbanized unincorporated areas of Washington County and within the city limits of Banks, Durham, Gaston, King City, and North Plains.
- The SWM rate income is shared proportionally between Clean Water Services and its partner cities.
To meet additional local needs, the cities may add and retain a surcharge or Right-of-Way (franchise) fee to their local sanitary sewer rate and/or the regional SWM rate. In the City of Hillsboro, the sanitary Right-of-Way fee is 3.5%, in the cities of Sherwood, Beaverton, and Tigard the Right-of-Way fee is 5%. For more information on these additional fees please contact your city.
How does new development pay to connect?
For each new dwelling, the developer pays a one-time fee to connect to the sanitary sewer and surface water management systems. New users pay System Development Charges (SDCs), or connection fees, of $7,266 ($6,625 for sanitary sewer and $641 for SWM for each dwelling unit or equivalent). Connection fees support the existing infrastructure and future capacity requirements.
What areas are served by Clean Water Services
In conjunction with 12 partner cities, we provide sewer and surface water management (SWM) to over 600,000 people in the urban areas of the Tualatin River Watershed (PDF, 189KB), which closely follows the urban growth boundary.
Areas served are the cities of Banks, Beaverton, Cornelius, Durham, Forest Grove, Gaston, Hillsboro, King City, North Plains, Sherwood, Tigard, Tualatin, unincorporated Washington County, small portions of Lake Oswego, small portions of Portland, and portions of Clackamas and Multnomah counties.