The April 2016 “Water News” is hot off the presses from @DenverWater

Click here to read the newsletter. Here’s an excerpt:

New rate structure in effect

Beginning April 1, your water bill reflects Denver Water’s new rate structure. This new structure will begin to shift our revenue from such a heavy reliance on usage to a more stable fixed fee over the next few years, which means that future rate increases will be less subject to bigger jumps because of unpredictable weather.

Residential customers will continue to be charged on a tiered structure — the more you use, the more you pay. Now, however, the rate structure is based on three tiers instead of four. The first and least expensive tier is based on indoor use. This rate is calculated by averaging your monthly water consumption reflected on January, February and March bills each year (beginning in 2016), which is a way of determining indoor water use (also known as your average winter consumption).

Because the majority of our single family residential customers’ indoor water use is 5,000 gallons or less in the winter months, the minimum average winter consumption allowance is 5,000 gallons, and the maximum is 15,000 gallons. The minimum helps ensure customers aren’t penalized for low water usage in the winter.

Each month, the amount of water you use up to your average winter consumption in tier 1 will be charged at the lowest rate. In tier 2, customers will be allotted 15,000 gallons in addition to their average winter consumption — what it takes to water an average-sized yard efficiently — for outdoor use, which falls into a higher-priced tier. Any use above that will fall into the third, highest-priced tier.

Fixed monthly charge

For residential customers, the fixed monthly charge has increased to $8.79 each month. The fixed monthly charge varies by meter size, but the majority of single-family residential customers have 3/4-inch meters.

The costs to collect, store, treat and deliver water are expenses that have to be paid regardless of the amount of water customers use every year. No matter how much water customers use, we still need to maintain and operate more than 3,000 miles of pipe, 19 reservoirs, 22 pump stations, 30 underground storage tanks, four treatment plants and much more.

Wait — don’t irrigate!

When it comes to lawn watering, April is too early to go automatic. Set aside plans to program your sprinkler system for later months, when the ground is less likely to retain wintertime moisture.

But you can still dig in and start preparing for the planting season.

Here’s how:

  • Start from the bottom up and aerate your lawn. If you can, aerate after a rain or snow shower provides moisture, which helps prepare soil for the process.
  • Then take a top-down approach by checking the height and width of your trees, shrubs and perennials.
  • Prune any overgrowth — which makes excellent compost when shredded.
  • Watch your mail for a detailed explanation on Denver Water’s summer watering rules, which go into effect May 1.
  • Save water, get a rebate

    Here’s a simple springtime project that pays off: earn a rebate for installing a new water-efficient toilet.

    We offer rebates of up to $150 for purchasing a WaterSense-labeled toilet that uses an average of 1.1 gallons per flush or less. WaterSense is a national program that makes it easy to choose quality products that use less water. Makes sense to us!

    Orr Manufacturing Vertical Impact Sprinkler circa 1928 via the Irrigation Museum
    Orr Manufacturing Vertical Impact Sprinkler circa 1928 via the Irrigation Museum

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