Water & Sewer Rate Changes 2021

Here is an update of recent changes to the Town’s water and sewer rate structure that is intended to conserve water, decrease sewage, and provide equity among consumers.  

This new rate structure will be reflected in your current bill and was approved by the Swampscott Select Board on August 24, 2021. (You can see a presentation given on the rate changes here and view the slides from the presentation here.)

As background, Swampscott rate payers were all charged the same rate regardless of level of consumption for water and sewer charges. Our new rate structure factors in consumption tiers as part of the billing process. This change was implemented after months of extensive, thoughtful public meetings to discuss recommendations from Swampscott’s Water & Sewer Rate Committee.  

It is important to note that these changes are required under MGL Chapter 165, Section 2B, which states that Massachusetts Water Resource Authority (MWRA) communities shall have a base rate that “shall be increased at an increasing block rate to fairly reflect the resources demand and consumption of high-volume users of water.” Based on an opinion from Swampscott’s Town Counsel, adoption of a tiered rate is obligatory, not discretionary as a deliberate policy choice of the Legislature intended to conserve water and decrease sewage.  

PREVIOUS RATE STRUCTURE (Voted by Select Board on August 4, 2020)
Water: $7.11 per Hundred Cubic Feet (HCF) with a quarterly base charge of $13.25
Sewer:  $5.58 per Hundred Cubic Feet (HCF) with a quarterly base charge of $20.00

NEW RATE STRUCTURE (Voted by Select Board on August 24, 2021)

CONSUMPTION RATE

 

CHARGE
Water Per HCF*

CHARGE
Sewer Per HCF*

Block 1

First 2500 Cubic Feet

$7.33

$ 5.75

Block 2

2501 through 25000 Cubic feet

$ 7.60

$ 6.50

Block 3

25001- Max cubic feet

$ 7.80

$ 7.20

BASE RATE

 

Water/quarter

Sewer/quarter

Block 1

First 1000 Cubic Feet

$ 13.25

$ 20.00

Block 2

1001 through 25000 Cubic feet

$ 13.65

$ 20.60

Block 3

25001- Max Cubic feet

$ 13.65

$ 20.60

*HCF=Hundred Cubic Feet

If you have any questions, you may contact the Department of Public Works at 781-596-8860.