How are my rates determined?

Many District customers, especially those who have just moved to the area, have questions about what makes up the cost of their bi-monthly bill.  Some of the factors that affect our rates are serving customers within the Lake Whatcom Watershed, the unique topography of our district, and planning for future maintenance and improvements.  Click here for more detailed information about how rates are set.

Why does my bill amount change from month to month?

Washington State Law requires that all water systems serving 15 or more residential service connections be metered.  Your water meter measures the volume of water used in your home and from fixtures on your property.  Click here for more information about metered water.

Water use from 0-600 cubic feet per billing period is covered by the base rate.  If more than 600 cubic feet are used, customers are charged per 100 cubic feet.  1 cubic foot of water is 7.48 gallons.

If you use more water in a billing cycle than normal, your bill will increase.  Thinking back to the months covered, did you have guests in your home?  Did you fill a pool or hot tub, a pressure washer, or a watering hose?  Did you have a leaky faucet or discover a toilet was running?  Any of these things can affect your water usage over time.  Many customers bills tend to be higher during the summer months.

Do you offer paperless billing?

Customers may set up paperless billing through our partner, Xpress Billpay.  Unfortunately, only property owners (not tenants) are able to set up paperless billing.

When do rate increases occur?

Lake Whatcom Water & Sewer District rates undergo a small rate increase each year.  Depending on the area you live in, you will see the increase each year either on your March 1 or April 1 bill.  Click here for more information about our rates.

My water has been turned off. How do I have it turned back on?

For accounts where water and sewer service charges are not paid within sixty days of the billing date, the District may interrupt water service and padlock the meter.  For information on how to have your water service restored, please see below.

If your bill is current and you do not have water, please call us at 360-734-9224 so we can help!

Restoring Suspended Water Service:

In order to have service restored, the bill must be paid in full.  If your service has been suspended, do not make payment through Xpress Bill Pay, payment must be received by our office directly.

During office hours (8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Monday-Thursday), you may make a payment in person or over the phone for the account balance. A $75 lock fee will be added to the next bill.

Outside of regular office hours (After 4:00 p.m. Monday – Thursday or anytime on weekends) you may call to have your meter unlocked.  Payment in full, including the additional after-hours unlock fee of $150 must be received over the phone or at the office by noon the next business day, or the meter will be re-locked.

Do not remove the lock from your meter box yourself.  If a lock is cut or removed without District authorization, an additional $250 fee will apply.

What is ULID #18?

A Utility Local Improvement District (ULID) is the procedure used to extend service to a group of properties whereby all property owners share in the cost. This process is a formal State defined procedure covered under the Revised Code of Washington (RCW 36.94.230).  Property owners in the benefit area may pay the assessments in a single lump sum or pay in installments over a period of time not exceeding 20 years at an interest rate set by the governing body of the public entity empowered by law to form the assessment.

In 2001, the Lake Whatcom Water and Sewer District Board of Commissioners formed ULID #18 for the financing of the Lake Louise Road Sewer Interceptor. Some vacant properties located within the benefit area were excluded from the assessment role because the property owner elected to “opt out” of ULID #18 by recording a Restrictive Covenant. A Restrictive Covenant prevents the property from receiving sewer service for a period of at least 25 years from December 16, 2002.

The original amount for ULID #18 was $2,792.78 per assessment.

Billing for Installments:

  • ULID statements are billed annually on March 1st to the owners of assessed lots carrying an open assessment balance.
  • Charges for water and sewer service, if the lot is connected to the water and/or sewer system, are billed separately.
  • ULID charges are billed at $139.64 principal and 9.5% interest on the remaining unpaid balance on the assessment.
  • The due date for the minimum annual payment is April 30th of the year it is billed.
  • A 30-day grace period is allowed. If the minimum annual amount due is not paid by the due date, including the grace period, a past due fee of 12% will be assessed against the annual minimum amount due.

For more information about ULID #18, please contact the District Office.