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​What wastewater rates and consolidation means for you

As a private, regulated utility, rates for your water and wastewater service are approved by the Arizona Corporation Commission (ACC). In December 2014, the ACC ordered EPCOR Water to file a new wastewater rate case providing three different scenarios using fresh financial data from a 2015 test year:

  1. Keep the five districts the way they are today (status quo).

  2. Bring them all together as one district (consolidation).

  3. Break them apart into seven districts based on treatment facility (deconsolidation).

We complied and filed the case on April 29, 2016, giving the ACC the information it needs to make a decision on the policy of wastewater consolidation. Download a summary of the application.

Understanding rates

We're a private, regulated utility, which means that the ACC makes the decision on what rates should be after a long and careful review of the information and costs in a rate case. It can take a year or more before the ACC makes a decision. Learn more about how the rate case process works.

Why we believe consolidation is the right solution

Pipes, pumps and plants are aging beyond repair and newer technologies have maintenance and repair needs, too. Over the next 10 years, we need to spend more than $500 million to repair, rehabilitate and replace aging infrastructure — including $163 million to keep our wastewater systems operating at a safe and reliable level for you and the environment.

And the costs to take your wastewater away, treat it properly and put it to new use recharging the underground aquifer or watering public parks, play areas and golf courses are increasing.

There's a lot more to wastewater than flushing it down the drain, and the best way to manage how this impacts your bill now and in the future is to bring all of our wastewater districts together.

We're proposing that all of our customers pay the same flat rate, gradually introduced over three years. Phasing it in introduces the change for some customers and provides immediate relief for others. Once fully consolidated, we anticipate future rate changes would be smaller and more gradual.

EPCOR residential stand-alone and proposed consolidation (3-year phase-in)

*Anthem is currently the only district with rates based on the amount of water used. All other districts are a flat rate. The rate case proposes a flat rate for all customers in every scenario.
**Mohave wastewater rates increased to $71.07 on September 1, 2016.

Why we filed this case

In June 2012, the ACC voted to deconsolidate, or separate, the Agua Fria and Anthem wastewater districts over a three-year period that began January 2013.

Deconsolidation didn't bring any additional revenue to us. It simply recalculated the approved rates based on two separate districts, and the cost to deliver service in each district, instead of one.

But deconsolidation meant changes for our Agua Fria and Anthem customers. Anthem customers saw their monthly wastewater bill decrease, while Agua Fria wastewater customers saw their monthly bill increase. That's largely because while both districts had about the same cost to provide service, there are more customers in the Anthem district.

Responding to concerns raised by Agua Fria customers, in July 2014, ACC staff directed us to review wastewater rate design options under different consolidation and deconsolidation scenarios. Because the data was based on costs from 2008, the Residential Utility Consumer Office, EPCOR Water and representatives from our wastewater districts recommended interim rates and a new wastewater rate case using fresh financial data.

On December 18, 2014, the ACC voted to approve interim rates and they became effective January 1, 2015. At the same time, the ACC ordered us to file a new wastewater rate case.

Read the ACC decision.

Wastewater rate case filed April 29, 2016

Archived supporting documents

Interim rates effective January 1, 2015