Financing and Charges for Wastewater Systems

Financing and Charges for Wastewater Systems


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This 4th edition of Financing and Charges for Wastewater Systems provides an overview of current industry practices that should be considered for financing and establishing rates and charges for wastewater collection and treatment systems. In addition, this Manual of Practice reflects and is responsive to changes in the industry over the last decade that have occasioned a heightened awareness about wastewater utility financial management and the equitable distribution of cost responsibilities across customer groups or classes. These changes, including tightening environmental regulation and replacement of aging infrastructure, have resulted in a pronounced increase in the cost of wastewater services. At the same time, the portion of costs paid through federal and state assistance programs have declined, challenging the affordability of this vital service. In this context, guidance on wastewater rate-setting practices, and particularly the distribution of costs across user groups, is of critical importance.

As individual wastewater utilities address their financial management challenges, it is important that their practices for setting rates and charges be responsive to the unique circumstances and values of the communities they serve. Accordingly, this manual offers industry-accepted guidance in addressing these challenges without prescribing specific methods. In many instances, acceptable methodological alternatives are presented.

Financing and Charges for Wastewater Systems is structured to provide the reader with an overview of financing mechanisms for wastewater systems and a framework for development of wastewater rates and charges.