Public Outreach Meetings on Proposed New Sewer Collection System Charges

Posted on March 28, 2022

Public Outreach Meetings on Proposed New Sewer Collection System Charges

Tuesday, April 5, 2022

12:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Via Zoom:


The Town of Colma provides wastewater service to over 700 homes and business.  Colma passes through charges for wastewater treatment to the Town’s sewer customers but does not currently levy any charges for the Town’s costs of operating and maintaining the local sewer collection system.

The wastewater system includes two components:

  • Sewer Collection System: Colma owns and operates a sewer collection system that includes approximately 8 miles of sewer pipelines that collect wastewater from each home and business.  Historically, costs for sewer collection system operation and administration have been funded directly from the Town’s General Fund, with no associated charges levied on the Town’s sewer customers.
  • Wastewater Treatment: Wastewater from the northern part of Colma is conveyed to the North San Mateo County Sanitation District (NSMCSD), and wastewater from the central and southern areas of Colma are conveyed to the City of South San Francisco for treatment and disposal.  The Town of Colma passes through charges for wastewater treatment from NSMCSD and the City of South San Francisco to customers whose wastewater is treated by each agency.  Wastewater treatment charges are collected on customer’s property tax bills.

Proposed New Sewer Collection System Charges

The Town of Colma is proposing to phase in new sewer collection system charges.  The proposed charges are designed to recover the Town’s costs for sewer collection system operations and maintenance, administration, and costs for necessary capital improvements to repair, rehabilitate and/or replace the Town’s aging sewer pipelines to help support safe and reliable service.  These new sewer collection system charges would be levied in addition to the wastewater treatment charges from the City of South San Francisco or NSMCSD that are passed through to the Town’s sewer customers.

When fully phased in, the proposed new sewer collection system charge will be a volumetric charge equal to $3.22 per hundred cubic feet of billable usage.  One hundred cubic feet equals roughly 748 gallons.  Hence, the proposed charge equates to approximately $0.43 per hundred gallons, or a little over 4/10ths of 1 cent per gallon.  As proposed, charges for residential customers will be applied based on metered water use during the winter months, which is typically a period of minimal outdoor irrigation.  Commercial charges will be applied based on annual water use.  When fully phased in, the Town’s new collection system charges will cost roughly $16 to $20 per month for a typical single-family home with average monthly winter water use between 5 and 6 hundred cubic feet.  Actual charges for each customer will vary based on usage.

The proposed sewer collection system charges will be collected on the customer’s property tax bill along with the wastewater treatment charges.  Once implemented, the General Fund will no longer be used to fund collection system expenses, thereby making General Fund revenues available for other needs within the Town.

Colma’s Sewer Rates to Remain Low Compared to Other Regional Agencies

Colma’s wastewater rates are currently among the lowest in San Mateo County.  With the proposed new charges, Colma’s wastewater rates are projected to remain low compared to other County agencies.

Public Outreach Meetings

The Town of Colma will hold two online Public Outreach Meetings on Tuesday, April 5th to explain the new sewer collection system charges, answer questions, and receive public comments.  Sewer customers and community members are encouraged to attend the online meetings which will be held as follows:

Date: Tuesday, April 5, 2022

Meeting Times: 12:30 p.m. and 6:00 p.m.

Zoom Link:

Meeting ID: 862 8653 4912

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For more information, please contact Public Works Director, Brad Donohue at 650-757-8895

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