Sausalito Marin City Sanitary District

Providing Wastewater Collection, Treatment and Safe Disposal to Protect Our Community’s Health and the Bay

24/7 Emergency Service

Report Sewer Spills:
Business Hours
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.

IN MARIN CITY:

(415) 332-0244
After Hours / Weekends
(415) 332-0244

IN CITY OF SAUSALITO:

(415) 289-4192
After Hours / Weekends
(415) 289-4170

IN TAM VALLEY:

Main Office
Monday - Friday
8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
(415) 388-6393
After Hours, Weekends & Holidays
(415) 779-9059

Rates and Fees

Current Residential Fees

Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District Approves New Sewer Charges

Following months of detailed financial and engineering studies, and distribution of a notice to all property owners in the District, Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District's Board of Directors approved a new five-year sewer rate plan on July 8, 2019.

The bill for most customers will appear on the annual property tax notice due in December 2019. It is not a tax; the charge is placed on the property tax bill because that costs less than mailing and collecting individual bills.

Reason for the Rate Changes. The rate changes meet several goals according to District General Manager, Jeffrey Kingston, "most importantly, to ensure the District has the resources needed to protect public health and the Bay environment by maintaining top quality sewer service. The rate revenue will help us pay for the $54 million in upgrades to the treatment plant and the conveyance system; and keep pace with the rising costs of supplies, power, chemicals, and all our other costs."

Cost Cutting to Hold Down Rates

Before raising sewer rates, the District's Board of Directors sought out opportunities to decrease costs and increase efficiency. Keeping costs down is an ongoing priority," stated Jeffrey Kingston, the District's General Manager. For example, the District: completed major projects on schedule and below estimated costs; decreased employee pension and retirement cost; outsourced selected activities to less expensive private contractors; increased cross-training of employees for improved efficiency; and implemented many other cost-saving steps.

How the Residential Sewer Service Charge is Calculated

The District has conducted extensive engineering and financial studies to ensure that its charges are fair to all customers. Below is a summary of the factors involved in setting residential rates.

WASTEWATER FLOW BY CUSTOMER CLASS

Financial and Engineering Studies conducted by the District show the following:

  • 64% of total costs are BASE costs that don’t vary with flow. BASE costs are charged equally to all residential customers.
  • 36% of total costs are VOLUMETRIC. These costs vary with changes in wastewater flow and are allocat¬ed based on the PROPORTION of flow that has been recently recalculated for residential customers.

As a result, multi-family customers pay 69% as much as single-family homes and floating homes pays 39% as much as single family homes for VOLUMETRIC costs.

STRENGTH

The strength factor for all residential customers remains unchanged at 1.0.

RESIDENTIAL CHARGE = (BASE CHARGE + CLASS VOLUMETRIC CHARGE) x (STRENGTH FACTOR)

Five Year Rate Summary for Properties Within the City of Sausalito

If you live in the City of Sausalito, you receive two sewer charges—one from the City and one from Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District. Those charges cover two entirely different services.

The City of Sausalito is responsible for properly collecting and containing wastewater within Sausalito City limits.

Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District (District) is responsible for the large pumps, pipelines, and controls that convey wastewater to the treatment plant, safely treat and disinfect it, and discharge it to the Bay through an outfall.

Fiscal Responsibility and Teamwork. Working together, the City and the District share resources and operate the sewer system in support of each other and as efficiently as possible, to protect our health and safety. Each entity charges separately for their part of the services.

Table 1. TOTAL SEWER SERVICE CHARGES FROM SAUSALITO-MARIN CITY SANITARY DISTRICT (per EDU)

CURRENT FY 2019-20 FY 2020-21 FY 2021-22 FY 2022-23 FY 2023-24
Conveyance and Treatment only. An additional collection rate is charged by the City of Sausalito.
Single-Family $866 $866 $906 $942 $970 $999
Multi-Family $771 $771 $793 $824 $849 $875
Floating Homes $659 $659 $683 $710 $731 $753
Non-Residential $866 $866 $906 $942 $970 $999
Definition of EDUs.
The rates below are per Equivalent Dwelling Unit (EDU). Sewer service charges are measured in EDUs. One EDU represents the capacity and wastewater strength of a typical single-family dwelling unit. Properties such as multi-family units may have more than one EDU.
More information about Non-Residential Rates.
The rate above is the minimum for non-residential customers. See the end of this document for more information about non-residential charges.
Additional Collection Charge Paid to the City.
In addition to the sewer service charges shown in Table 1, City of Sausalito residents pay a collection charge to the city. Contact the City for more information about that charge.

Customers in Marin City, floating homes and other unincorporated areas pay a similar charge to Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District for sewer collection services (see Table 4 below).

Five Year Rate Summary for Properties Within Marin City, Floating Homes and Other Unincorporated Areas

The District provides all sewer-related services for Marin City, floating homes, and other unincorporated areas within the District’s boundaries: collection of wastewater in neighborhoods; use of large pumps, pipelines, and controls to convey wastewater to the treatment plant; safe treatment and disinfection; and discharge into the Bay. Customers in unincorporated areas pay the District for all sewer-related services.

Table 3. TOTAL SEWER SERVICE CHARGES FROM SAUSALITO-MARIN CITY SANITARY DISTRICT (per EDU)

Table 3 shows total annual charges from Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary District for Marin City, floating homes, and other unincorporated areas.

Marin City, Floating Homes, and Other Unincorporated Areas
Conveyance and Treatment, plus Collection System Supplemental Charge.
For example, 2019-20 single-family = $866 (Table 1 above) + $192 (Table 4 below) = $1,058
CURRENT FY 2019-20 FY 2020-21 FY 2021-22 FY 2022-23 FY 2023-24
Single-Family $944 $1,058 $1,103 $1,162 $1,261 $1,386
Multi-Family $849 $940 $966 $1,018 $1,105 $1,215
Floating Home $737 $803 $831 $875 $949 $1,043
Non-Residential $944 $1,058 $1,103 $1,162 $1,261 $1,386
Definition of EDUs.
The rates below are per Equivalent Dwelling Unit (EDU). Sewer service charges are measured in EDUs. One EDU represents the capacity and wastewater strength of a typical single-family dwelling unit. Properties such as multi-family units may have more than one EDU.
More information about Non-Residential Rates.
The rate above is the minimum for non-residential customers. See near the end of this document for more information about non-residential charges.
Additional Collection Charge Paid to the District.
The charges shown below (see Table 4) for sewer collection services have been added into the Total Sewer Service Charges shown in Table 3 for Marin City, floating homes, and other unincorporated areas.

Customers within the City of Sausalito pay a similar charge to the City for sewer collection services. Contact the City for more information about this charge.

Table 4. PROPOSED SAUSALITO-MARIN CITY SANITARY DISTRICT ANNUAL COLLECTION SYSTEM SUPPLEMENTAL CHARGE FOR MARIN CITY & UNINCORPORATED AREAS (per EDU)

CURRENT FY 2019-20 FY 2020-21 FY 2021-22 FY 2022-23 FY 2023-24
Single-Family $78 $192 $198 $220 $291 $387
Multi-Family $78 $169 $174 $194 $256 $341
Floating Homes $78 $144 $148 $165 $218 $290
Non-Residential $78 $192 $198 $220 $291 $387
Questions and Answers About the Rates

Q: How do the total charges compare for customers in unincorporated areas and those within the City?

A: The total sewer charges for a residence combine the sewer service charges and the collection charges. For example, a single-family home in either location could expect the following charges in 2019-2020:

Marin City/Unincorporated $866.00 (Table 1) + $192.00 (Table 4) = $1,058.00
City of Sausalito $866.00 (Table 1) + $671.06 (Table 2) = $1,537.06

Table 2. PROPOSED CITY OF SAUSALITO SEWAGE COLLECTION CHARGE

The charges below are the amounts the City will charge to properties within the City for the City’s sewer collection services.

CURRENT FY 2019-20 FY 2020-21 FY 2021-22 FY 2022-23 FY 2023-24
Single-Family
City of Sausalito
$591.48 $671.06 $697.90 $725.82 $754.85 $785.04

Q: Why are single-family homes, apartments, and floating homes charged different amounts?

A: The District has three residential customer classifications: single-family, floating home, and multi-family. Multi-family units are attached dwelling units, including duplexes, triplexes, fourplexes, apartments, condos, and townhouses. Detached, secondary dwelling units are considered an additional single-family dwelling unit. Each customer classification pays a rate that reflects the costs of serving them, based on their average estimated wastewater flow. Floating homes cost less to serve than multi-family dwellings, and both cost less than single-family homes. Non-residential (commercial) customers have different classifications based on their strength and flow.

Q: How do you make sure the rates are fair?

A: One of our highest priorities in this change is to ensure the rates are fair. SMCSD retained a well-known expert on sanitary district rates to determine the amount of wastewater flow from different customer classifications (single-family, multi-family, and floating home). The rate changes reflect those differences. The result is that the proposed residential charges more accurately reflect actual use of the wastewater system; customer classifications that generate less wastewater will have lower bills. Districts throughout California have been reevaluating their rates in the same way, in order to conform with laws requiring rates to be proportional to the cost of service.

Q: When is the bill due?

A: The rates are divided in half and collected on the property tax bill, which is due twice per year (in December and April).

Q: Is this a tax?

A: No. It is a charge for wastewater service that is simply placed on the property tax bill because that costs less than mailing and collecting individual bills. It is identified as “Sausalito-Marin City Sanitary” on your property tax bill.

Current Non-Residential Charges

Non-Residential Sewer Service Charges

How Non-Residential Sewer Service Charges Are Calculated

Just like residential, non-residential sewer charges are based on two factors, the quantity of flow and its strength (cost to transport and treat). The proposed sewer service rates for coming years increase by the same amount as single-family residential customers.

WASTEWATER FLOW BY CUSTOMER

This flow-factor is the ratio of each non-residential customer’s flow compared with 200 gallons per-day treatment capacity made available per EDU.

STRENGTH FACTORS

The strength is based on wastewater produced by a residential customer.

THE STRENGTH FACTORS ARE:

Strength Factor

  • Low (Retail & Office – comparable to residential) = 1.0
  • Medium (Delis, Markets) = 1.7
  • High (Restaurant & Bakeries) = 2.4

COMMERCIAL CHARGE = (RATE ) x (FLOW FACTOR) x (STRENGTH FACTOR)

  • Non-Residential (Commercial) Bills. The non-residential rate per EDU is the same as single family, but each non-residential customer has its own bill based on its own estimated strength and flow (see the formula on the previous page). The minimum non-residential charge is one EDU.
  • Collection System Supplemental Charge (For Businesses within Unincorporated Areas). The Supplemental Charge funds the cost of pipeline collection system operations, maintenance and upgrades in unincorporated service areas, floating homes, and Marin-City. The existing sewer collection charge of $78 per EDU per year does not cover the cost of service. It was adjusted to cover actual costs of service and to ensure that the proportion of charges proposed to be paid by each customer class reflects the results of flow studies that were recently recalculated.

Collection System Charge (Businesses Within the City). This charge, similar to the Supplemental Charge above, is for sewer collection system maintenance and repairs in the city. Contact the city for details about this charge.

Questions or Comments About Sausalito–Marin City Sanitary District Service or Rates?

We are here to help. If you have questions or comments about Sanitary District services or rates:

  • Call 415-332-0244, Monday-Friday 7 am to 3:30 pm
  • Or email info@smcsd.net