Water, Sewer and Refuse Rates
- Water Rate: $4.70 per 1,000 gallons of metered water consumption (effective 7/1/2019).
- Sewer Rate: $9.10 per 1,000 gallons of metered water consumption (effective 7/1/2019).
- Refuse Rate (residential accounts only): $306 annually, billed quarterly and prorated on a daily basis.
- The rate for activating new water service accounts or reactivation of service due to repair or delinquency is $25.
- Single-family and duplex homes are billed quarterly for water, sewer, and trash and recycling services.
- Water and sewer charges are based on water consumption as determined by a meter reading. You must keep the water meter free of obstruction by cars, landscaping or other objects.
- Your bill may also include charges for service requests such as additional carts, special pickup or leaf mulch/wood chip delivery.
Apartments and Commercial
- Apartments and commercial businesses are billed monthly for water and sewer services.
- Water and sewer charges are based on water consumption as determined by a monthly meter reading. Only County staff is authorized to enter meter vaults.
Rates for water and sewer services are based directly on the number of gallons of water used.
Water usage is measured by a water meter installed adjacent to each residence or business. Sanitary sewer services are charged based on the amount of water used as determined by the water meter readings. We don’t measure sanitary sewer usage as sewer meters are costly, and prone to malfunctions and inaccurate readings.
Water/Sewer Rate Study
In 2019, Arlington County’s Department of Environmental Services (DES) commenced a Water and Wastewater Utility Cost of Service and Rate Design Study. The study, to conclude in early 2020, will help ensure that sufficient revenues are recovered through our rates and that our rate and fee structures are aligned with the County’s financial objectives and the community’s values.
County staff conducted a water/sewer rate study in 2003, working with both a consultant and a resident task force appointed by the County Manager to review the study and make recommendations. The resident task force recommended retaining the current rate structure, which is based directly on water volume consumption. They recommended against giving relief on sewer charges for irrigation water for the following reasons:
- The current rate is easy to understand and easy to administer.
- Only a few very high-use residential customers would significantly benefit from a summer sewer rate that removes sewer charges for irrigation water.
- Giving rate relief for irrigation is contrary to water conservation and promotes increased pollutants in local streams, the Potomac River and Chesapeake Bay.
- An alternative, while costly, exists — the water-only account, which provides a second water service and meter exclusively for outdoor use separate from the existing domestic line.
As a result of the study, the County Manager did not recommend any changes in rate structure to the County Board.