Written by Public Works Staff
The cost of water in West Fargo has become a recent topic of conversation. Following is an explanation of the city’s billing and rates, as well as the decision to contract with the City of Fargo for water.
Water services are billed on a monthly basis for the prior month’s service to a residential or commercial property. Charges for water combine a $7.00 service fee and $7.00 for every 1,000 gallon increments used, based on meter readings obtained by the city. For a home that uses 3,000 gallons of water in a month, the fee would be $28.00. This charge also includes use of the City of West Fargo’s sewer system.
Each owner or occupant of a property connected with the sewer system pays a minimum service charge of $9.00. Usage, based on metered water consumption, is included in the water usage fees up to 10,000 gallons. All properties pay an additional charge of $1.00 per 1,000 gallons for usage greater than 10,000 gallons of water per month.
A typical West Fargo residential home uses 3,000 gallons of water a month. This would translate to a $37.00 combined sewer and water bill. That same home in Fargo with a ¾” meter would receive a $21.30 bill for water and $16 bill for sewer, totaling $37.30.
The City of West Fargo has grown very quickly since the year 2000 and now has more than 33,000 residents. Unfortunately, the aquifer that supplied the city’s water could not continue to meet the needs of the growing population. Residents had also long complained about the taste, appearance and contents of the water. Therefore, the City of West Fargo began purchasing water from the City of Fargo in 2015.
The City of West Fargo looked into several options before deciding to begin purchasing water from Fargo. The purchase agreement was found to be the most economical for the city’s operations and residents. If the City of West Fargo had decided to build a new Water Treatment Plant, water bills were projected to increase by $9.29 per 1,000 gallons to pay for the project, not including long-term maintenance and system updates.
This solution allows the City of West Fargo to maintain reasonable rates for water. This water is also treated and reduces the issues residents had with taste, appearance and contents of the former water source. These rates are based on the cost of water from the City of Fargo, as well as long-term needs of the water system.
Currently, the City of West Fargo pays the City of Fargo $3.25 per 1,000 gallons for water. Additional funds produced from the water rates are used for maintenance of the extensive network of pipes, water towers and other infrastructure necessary to deliver water to all areas of town.
If you feel your water bill is suddenly high, consider the following factors:
- Water usage changes, including additional house guests, filling a swimming pool, landscaping, washing cars or adding laundry.
- Leaky appliances and household items, including toilet, faucets, automatic irrigation systems and spigots, water softeners and water heaters.
For information on how to address these issues, please review the “High Water Bill” resource on www.westfargond.gov.