Will customers be notified and asked to provide input on the rate changes?
Public Hearings are advertised in advance and open to the public for public comment. Sign up for meeting alerts at www.calvertcountymd.gov/NotifyMe. Public Hearing announcements are also posted on the Calvert County Government Facebook page, www.facebook.com/CalvertCountyMd.
The County will publish the commissioner’s agenda containing this item and will advertise for public comment. The public will have the opportunity to speak and the record is left open for a week to gather additional public comment. Customers will be notified of any change in rates after the commissioners adopt new rates. Find more information on participating in meetings and view agendas and minutes at www.calvertcountymd.gov/BOCC.
How will the new rates provide necessary revenue and fairness in the rates?
The Water & Sewer Enterprise fund covers the operating costs from the fees it charges for the provided services. The commissioners evaluate and approve the fund’s budget and requested fees for service. Learn more about the budget process at www.calvertcountymd.gov/Budget.
Are meters being replaced and will that impact rates?
As the county gets closer to the automated meter reading process it may require either a meter head or an entire meter replacement. It is too early in the process to provide a cost. How this may impact rates is yet to be determined.
Will meter reading software changes or billing software changes impact rates?
Billing software replacement is in the contract stage and has over $800,000 in grant funding, as seen in the FY24 budget. The capital project will not translate into a billing increase. However, the future annual site license will be included in the operating budget.
What happened to the results of the EDU audit?
The EDU audit results, per commissioners’ instructions were set aside. There will no longer be residential EDU audits.
How were the tiers determined in the rate model?
The initial tiers were determined by a consultant, using historical consumption information. The tiers were developed based on a percentage of usage. The breakdown is as follows:
- Tier I - 15% of usage
- Teir II – 25% of usage
- Teir III – 30% of usage
- Teir IV – 30% of usage
To meet best operating practices, with instruction from the commissioners, it is very likely the tiers will be reviewed and revised on a regular basis.
What Water & Sewer action did the BOCC take on January 24, 2023?
On January 24, 2023, the BOCC received a staff presentation to discuss options to improve the water and sewerage customer relationship with Calvert County Government. The January 24, 2023 discussion only affects water and sewer customers; there is no change for residents or businesses on well or septic. During the January 24, 2023 discussion, the BOCC was asked to:
- Direct the repeal and replacement of Resolution 32-16, eliminating additional EDUs for residential customers for both water and sewerage. (Staff will return to the BOCC prior to action)
- Direct transition to a tiered billing guide supported with best available technology. (Staff will return to the BOCC prior to action)
- Request the reallocation of unexecuted American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) funding to support software acceleration. (Staff will return to the BOCC for public hearing to fund technology improvements)
- Create and implement educational resources for residential and commercial customers to increase awareness and transparency. (Staff will begin educational outreach within 30 days of the January 24, 2023, presentation)
What input will the Water & Sewer customers have?
Any and all options to make improvements to the county’s water and sewerage system will be considered in the most transparent and comprehensive manner possible. The strength of Calvert County Government rests in its constituents, and we will deliver on our promise to be responsible and accountable to all citizens of Calvert County.
When was the recent audit and is it still underway?
The most recent EDU audit reviewed water consumption of all Calvert County-owned water and sewer system customers between April 1, 2020 and March 31, 2022. Based on recent action by the Board of County Commissioners, the recent EDU audit is no longer valid.
What are EDU Audits?
An EDU is based on actual water consumption during the audit period. The audit was performed only on those systems owned and operated by the Calvert County Department of Public Works, Water and Sewerage Division. The recent Calvert County EDU audit analyzes each Calvert County water and sewer system customer to determine if the customer is on the accurate rate for water use.
What are EDUs?
An Equivalent Dwelling Unit (EDU) allocates assigned capacity, permitted from the state, for each water system and waste water treatment plant. One EDU equals 18,000 gallons of water per calendar quarter or approximately 200 gallons of water per day.
What are Capital Connections?
Capital connection fees are charged for capacity allocation to public water and sewer systems. The fees are needed to perform maintenance and upgrades to support the infrastructure that delivers safe water, and for collecting, treating and releasing effluent over the life of a system. Capital connection fees are $3,000 for one water EDU and $5,400 for one sewer EDU.
Does this affect homes with well and septic?
What are some ways I can reduce my bill and help to conserve water?
Visit our water conservation webpage for water-saving tips.