Fees and Rates

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At the City Council meeting on January 12, 2016, a series of water service rate increases designed to generate a 5.5% annual increase in revenues, and a low income discount, were approved by Council and will be implemented over the next five years. The rate increases include a water conservation surcharge of $0.49 per unit that will be in effect for the first year of the increases only.

The rates and discount became effective with the first billing on or after February 1, 2016. If you would like more information regarding the water rate increases you can click here


The City of Vacaville owns and operates the sewer and water utilities, responsible for both the delivery of high quality potable water and the collection and treatment of wastewater (sewer) for the City. In order to pay for these services, the City collects revenue through service charges and fees. The City derives no profit from these revenues as provided by law. The following is a list of Utilities charges and fees. For more information, you may contact the Finance Department at 449-5128.

Operations and Maintenance (O&M) Service Charges:
O&M service charges pay for the operations and maintenance, improvement, repair, replacement, and upgrade of all components related to the collection and treatment of wastewater (sewer) from, and delivery of potable water to, all residences, agencies, business, and industries in the City. Sewer and Water rates are established by City Council based on comprehensive rate studies.

Sewer: The main components of the City’s sewer system consists of miles of sewer lines, manholes, and lift stations located throughout the city, as well as the Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant. The City collects and treats on average 8.2 million gallons of sewage each day. Sewer charges consist of a fixed component based on service delivery costs and a variable component based on customer usage.

Sewer Charges

The following link provides an overview of frequently asked questions regarding the City's Sewer charges:

Sewer Charges Frequently Asked Questions

Water: The main components of the City’s water system include canals, meters, reservoirs, wells, water lines, and the City Water Treatment Plant. In 2014 the City provided over 5 billion gallons of potable water to its residential, commercial, industrial and institutional customers. As with sewer, water charges consist of a fixed component based on service delivery costs and a variable component based on customer usage.

Water Charges

City customers receive a bi-monthly bill which includes both their sewer and water O&M fees. To see a sample bill which explains each of the fees and how they are calculated please click the link below.

Billing Sample

Low or Fixed Income Discount Program

Low Income Discount: Customers on a fixed or lower income may qualify for a discount on their water service charges. In order to qualify, customers must meet income requirements and be enrolled in the PG&E California Alternate Rates for Energy (CARE) program. You may complete the application form below and bring that to the Finance Department located at 650 Merchant Street, Vacaville, CA along with a copy of your most current PG&E statement showing you are enrolled in the CARE program and are receiving the CARE discount. If you are currently not enrolled in the CARE program but believe you may qualify, you may click here to learn more about the eligibility requirements of, and how to enroll in, the CARE program.

The low income discount is funded by revenues not collected through water rates in accordance with State of California regulations. In the event this funding runs out before the end of the fiscal year (June 30), the program will be temporarily suspended until the start of the following fiscal year (July 1) when funding is approved. For more information on this program please call (707) 449-5128.

Please click here for the Low Income Discount Application.

Special Sewer Fees

Annual Pretreatment Permit Fees: These fees are applied to businesses that are required have a permit under the City’s Pretreatment Program to discharge wastewater to the City’s Easterly Wastewater Treatment Plant. Such businesses include industrial facilities, haulers of septage, fats, oil and grease, and dischargers of remediated groundwater within City limits. The fees pay for the administrative costs of maintaining such permits.

These fees are adjusted annually based on the Construction Cost Index (CCI) published every October. The current fee for 2017 is $487.64.

Pretreatment Surcharge: An eleven percent (11%) surcharge is applied to the sewer portion of monthly or bi-monthly water and sewer bill for specific industrial, commercial, and waste or septage hauler businesses. This surcharge partially funds the City’s Pretreatment Program, which is required by Federal and State regulations. The purpose of the program is to accomplish three objectives:

  1. Prevent the introduction of pollutants that could interfere with the operation and maintenance of the City’s sewer collection system and or wastewater treatment plant.
  2. Prevent the introduction of pollutants that could compromise the safety of the general public or workers of the sewer collection system and or wastewater treatment plant.
  3. Prevent the introduction of pollutants that would cause the bio-solids generated by the wastewater treatment plant to be disposed of as hazardous waste.

This is accomplished through public education and outreach as well as inspection and/or wastewater sampling of the specific aforementioned businesses.

Special Water Fees

Backflow Device Fees: These fees are applied to the water portion of the monthly or bi-monthly utilities bill for industrial and commercial businesses and for certain residents who are required to have backflow prevention devices on their water service line. The amount of the fee is based on the size of the backflow device installed in the customer’s water service line. The fees help fund the City’s Cross Connection Control Program which is required by state regulations. The purpose of the program is to protect the City’s public potable water supply from the possibility of contamination or pollution by preventing contaminants or pollutants which could enter the public water system from backflow or cross connections. This is accomplished through routine inspections and maintenance of nearly 1,700 backflow prevention devices installed on water service lines throughout the City of Vacaville.

Current Backflow Device Fees