Biggest Little City

Sewer Rates Frequently Asked Questions


View the current rates for sewer service.

My sewer bill is higher, why?

Effective October 1 there was an 8% increase in the quarterly sewer use fees in accordance with the rate schedule set forth in ordinance (RMC 12.16.120). For a single family residence this was an increase of $9.66 per quarter ($3.22/month).

Why is the City raising the sewer use fee?

Fees are increased to keep up with the costs of operating, repairing, and replacing our wastewater collection and treatment plant infrastructure, as well as to manage and maintain our compliance with a number of state and federal regulatory programs. Much of the existing infrastructure has been inspected, evaluated and prioritized for repair or replacement.  This increase will enable the City to “pay as you go” for the rehabilitation and replacement projects scheduled.

When did the City raise the sewer use fee?

Since 2005, there has been a 4% annual increase in place.  On August 24, 2011, following the recommendations of the Financial Advisory Board and the Sewer Rate Advisory Board, Council approved an additional 4% annual increase for a total annual increase of 8%.  This October 2015 increase is the final planned 8% increase; starting October 2016 the annual increases will be based solely upon the Consumer Price Index (CPI).

What do the sewer use fees pay for?

The sewer fees go into the Reno Sewer Enterprise Fund which is principally used for:

Operating, maintaining, and repairing our two wastewater treatment plants (Truckee Meadows Water Reclamation Facility and Reno-Stead Water Reclamation Facility) to protect public health, our water ways and to comply with state and federal regulations;

Planning, designing, and constructing projects to rehabilitate our wastewater treatment and collection systems;

Inspecting, cleaning, and repairing our sewers, storm drains, and ditches to minimize backups and overflows;

A fraction of the funds are also used for:

Managing the federally mandated Environmental Control program which permits and inspects commercial and industrial discharges to our sewers (permit fees are collected so most of the activities for this program are self reliant);

Delivering reclaimed water to reuse sites such as golf courses and parks which help preserve our potable water supplies and river resources

Coordinating the Regional Storm Water Management Program with other public agencies to comply with state and federal regulation

Planning and facilitating watershed improvement projects such as river restoration, bank stabilization, and flood and drainage projects

Doesn’t new development pay for those things?

New development projects pay sewer connection fees that are designated to pay for such things as expansion of facilities, like wastewater treatment plants or new sewer collection lines.  So as new customers come on to the system, collection and treatment facilities can accommodate the additional flow.  For example, currently for each new home constructed, a fee of $6,376 is collected at the time of building permit issuance.

I think my fee was calculated wrong

Customer billing can be checked.  Provide the customer account number, service address and contact information to the Finance-Sewer Division via e-mail at or through Reno Direct (775) 334-4636.  Reno Direct will provide that information to the Finance-Sewer Division.  The customer will receive a call back within 3 business days after the request is received by the Finance-Sewer Division.

I’ve heard about a Sewer Rebate Program, how can I get in on that?

The Sewer Rebate Program is intended to provide a rebate for fees paid by residents living within the City of Reno Service area who meet certain eligibility criteria. The program, if approved through the Council adoption of the Budget in May, will open July 1. Applications are accepted through August 31.[i]  The program’s rebate amount is not intended to offset the annual increase.   The rebate calculation is based upon factors including but not limited to:  ownership or tenants, rent payments, and residency period.  The amount for the 2015 program was up to $151.  

My bill shows an amount billed for administration charge, Sewer “OM&R”, Sewer Capital – What does that mean?

Administration Charge: $2.40 (residential) and $4.20 (commercial) - Covers the cost of processing and sending out the bills.

Operation, Maintenance & Replacement (OM&R): Provides for the administration, operation, maintenance and minor replacement of the sewage plants, pumping stations and collection system.

Capitalization: Provides for debt service, depreciation, major replacement for the sewer collection system and treatment plants and other costs required to maintain the ability to continue providing services.

[i] Or the last working day in August.  Please note that the program for the current year has closed.  

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