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Yes. The cost of water has increased exponentially since 2011. Since 2011, our water cost has increased 238.8%. Please click here to view the utility rate presentation presented on 08/10/2020 for additional detail (link provided above).
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The Town has evaluated rates for water and wastewater fees and charges. The results of these analyses indicate that new development impact fees (water tap and sewer tap) are in need of an increase.
Residential water and sewer taps currently make up the largest portion of new development impact fees, along with a modest number of new business impact fees. Although impact fees are collected just one time at the time a building permit is issued, the fees are typically passed on to the homebuyer or business and often rolled into the home mortgage or business loan. Homeowners and businesses continue to pay for the one-time cost in their monthly mortgage or loan payments. The homeowner/business also begins paying monthly usage rates beginning at the time construction is complete. Balancing the one-time impact fee costs is important to ensure the cost burden to homebuyers and small businesses continues to be manageable.
Yes, the number of building permits has been restricted.
Yes, according to the 2021 Drinking Water Quality Report which is based on water quality monitoring data collected in 2020, the Town’s water meets all state and federal drinking water health standards, which are the primary standards for treating and monitoring water. State mandated water quality compliance testing is completed annually by a State of Colorado certified laboratory. Results show Wellington water is compliant in all categories. You can find more information on the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment Consumer Confidence Reports, under “WELLINGTON TOWN OF – CO0135838.”
The Division of Local Government (DLG) conducts an annual survey of local utility providers and gathers information about water and sewer rates. In 2020, drinking water rates, (for 10,000 gallons of use), showed a 24.9% median increase for municipalities. Additionally, municipalities wastewater rates showed a 3.57% median increase.
According to the 2020 rate survey, the average monthly residential water bill for municipal customer in Colorado was $67.93 (based on 10,000 gallons of use). Comparatively, Wellington water customer paid $111.60 (based on 10,000 gallons of use).
Municipal sewer customers in Colorado paid an average monthly bill of $38.04 and Wellington residential customers paid $27.13 on average monthly.
The tier structure is designed to reward users for conserving water. The less water you use, the less you pay per 1,000 gallons. Not only does this allow you to take your water bill into your own hands, the Town is better positioned to meet the current and growing demand.
The tier structure is increased in October 2020 as detailed below
The cost to produce clean water has increased exponentially. The base rate had to be adjusted to reflect the cost of providing safe water to your household.
The three main reasons for increasing cost:1. Capital improvement to maintain State of Colorado water quality standards2. Rising cost to purchase water3. Expanded infrastructure needed to meet current and growing demands
For a more detailed breakdown of the water rate study click here.
Prior to the current two phase increase rates were minimally raised in 2016.
The Bulk water dispenser has been reopened. You can find rate information and hours of operation by clicking here.
7,000 gallons per month
The Town of Wellington has a Municipal Water Efficiency Plan in place as of 2018 and the Town has had on-going Water Efficiency Activities since 2013. These activities include automatic meter reading installation and operations, a leak detection and repair program, weekly and time of day outdoor water restrictions, and several other plans. If you are interested in reading the full Water Efficiency Plan, please click here.
Before any water fees are paid to the Town, a developer is first responsible for providing the water infrastructure (underground pipes) that extend water services throughout the subdivision. The cost of installing the new infrastructure is paid by the developer initially, and developers will typically recover their cost of installation in the sale price of the lot or home. Each new residential dwelling unit that is permitted is required to pay a water tap fee, currently $5,500. This is the capital cost of connecting to the Town’s water treatment and distribution system. Tap fees are used by the Town to pay for water treatment plant expansions, upgrades and new equipment necessitated to accommodate the impacts of new growth. Each new dwelling is also required to bring raw water to the Town (raw water is a term used to describe untreated water resources, such as water shares, rights or wells that can be accessed by the Town for treatment and distribution to residents). This is typically accomplished by paying a fee in-lieu of water dedication (pay a fee instead of providing the actual water resources) and is paid at the time a building permit is issued. The raw water fee is established based upon the cost of acquiring new water rights, and is currently $19,285.50. The Town uses these fees to purchase water shares or rights, or to lease water shares or rights for treatment and distribution. Once the water tap fee and the raw water fee are satisfied, a building permit is issued and the home builder pays the same residential water utility rates as residents until such time as the property is sold and the new home-buyer takes responsibility for the water utility fees. The water utility fees are used to pay for the cost of treating water and maintaining the water treatment and distribution systems.
Conservation measures such as xeriscaping and other methods of reducing outdoor water demand are being evaluated by the Town. A combination of standard requirements for new construction, best practice guidelines, and incentives for converting existing water-intensive landscapes will be considered. Reducing outdoor water consumption will be integral to the Town’s future, and will need frequent evaluation to ensure regulations and programs are commensurate with available resources and remain beneficial to the Town and its residents.
The Town is currently working on an update to the Comprehensive Plan, including creating vision and values statements for our community and future growth. More information and opportunities to provide comments is available here (Comprehensive Plan). We would love your input!
Water use was an important consideration in the design and approval of the new high school/middle school. The property has a well on-site and the school district will be installing a non-potable irrigation system using the well water to irrigate the ball fields and other landscaped areas. The well water that will be used for outdoor irrigation is not part of the Town’s water system, thus significantly reducing the impacts to the Town’s water supply and distribution systems. The new school will be utilizing Town water supplies for indoor use, and the school district will be paying the applicable Town water rates for usage. Although a school is a significant water customer of the Town, the hours that water is used at a school is offset from the high demand hours of residential uses. Since the hours of highest demand are offset, the Town’s ability to treat water to meet the demand is minimally impacted.
No, you will be charged based on how many gallons of water you use a month. The number 7,000 gallons was used for the scenarios in the survey and presentations because it was the average amount of water used by Wellington residents. The water rate increase will be applied to the amount of what you use each month.
The Town Board and Staff have looked into other water options, unfortunately none are financially viable at this time.
The Board of Trustees adopted new water rate fees in September 2020 and January 2021.
The Town has held several Virtual Public Meetings in 2020 related to this issue including 4 different educational presentations which you can find above. The Town has created a survey for residents to provide feedback related to the Water Rate Increase in August 2020.
The process has started and the goal of completion is 2024.
Water needs vary among municipalities and therefore they cannot be compared. In order for Wellington to continue to provide safe water for their residents, these increases are necessary.
The Town’s raw water supply comes from North Poudre Reservoir No. 3 that is sourced from the North Fork and Poudre River groundwater from the Coal Creek aquifer. Raw water from North Poudre Reservoir No. 3 supplies the Town’s Conventional and Microfiltration facilities that are both located near the reservoir. Groundwater is pumped from three wells into the Town’s Nanofiltration and Reverse Osmosis (RO) facilities located near the Leeper Center.
The Town of Wellington encourages conservation methods such as xeriscaping and this would benefit residents in less consumption per month which would lower bills per month. If you are interested in conservation methods for your lawn, we suggested you check out the Northern Water’s website here for Water Wise Landscapes.
There are several presentations available on the “Utility Rate Update” page on our website. Please take advantage of the videos, board meetings, and powerpoints. If you have additional questions please contact Communications Specialist Mahalia Henschel at email@example.com or call at (970) 342-8500.
On August 12, 2020 the Town updated water fees required for new residential development. The adopted fees are based on the actual costs to the Town to acquire new water sources needed to serve the new developments.
Aesthetic effects (such as taste, odor, or color) in Wellington’s drinking water are caused by frequent blue green algal blooms in the reservoir that provides our water. The decomposition of the algae creates chemical compounds that create a general earthiness in the water. According to the Colorado Department of Public Health & Environment, Wellington’s water meets all state and federal drinking water health standards. Taste and odor causing effects are difficult to remove from the water but are not a risk to health or safety. To help remove taste and odor compounds, the Town is currently working on expanding the Water Treatment Plant which incorporates newer technological improvements to help eliminate taste and odor concerns. The plant is schedule to be completed in 2024.
To view the most recent Water Quality Reports, visit our website: http://www.wellingtoncolorado.gov/299/Water-Quality-Reports
Contact one of the following agencies to apply for assistance:
Discover Goodwill: 1-888-775-5327
Catholic Charities Larimer County: 970-484-5010
La Familia/The Family Center: 970-221-1615
Drinking-water systems collect source water from rivers, lakes, groundwater wells, remove pollutants, and distribute safe water. Wastewater systems collect used water and sewage, remove contaminants, and dis-charge clean water back into the nation's rivers and lakes for future use. Therefore, that is the reason these two projects must go hand in hand.