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Who Benefits

Installing a sub-meter will likely benefit:

· Properties with high water sewage bills.

· Properties with large front yard or back yard.

· Properties with swimming pools or fountains.

· Apartment complexes with high water utility bills.

Depending on your water usage, your Sewer Service Charge (SSC) charges may be lowered up to 75%. Such high savings could pay for the permit fees, purchase of a new sub-meter, installation and inspection- all within one year of savings!

Sewer rates are going up. The current rate is $3.27 per HCF (1 HCF = 748 gallons). The department is calculating rate increases for 2009 through 2013.
Contact us today to save money on your LADWP utility bill!

E.Z. Roth Plumbing will:

1. Decide if a meter should be installed on the domestic line of the irrigation line.
Note: Only one private sub-meter is allowed per DWP metered line.
2. Obtain the necessary plumbing permit
3. Purchase the appropriate sub-meter
4. Install the sub-meter
5. Arrange for an inspection of the newly installed sub-meter

The City Council has authorized a procedure that allows City of Los Angeles sewer system customers to use data from private water sub-meters in the calculation of their sewer service charges (SSC). If opted by the customer, the program requires that the customer’s plumbing be configured to separate the water distribution lines on the customer’s property which drain to the sewer (”tributary lines“) from those which do not drain to the sewer (”non-tributary lines”).

In the residential situation, tributary lines serve interior (domestic) uses, and non-tributary lines serve exterior (primarily irrigation) uses. The customer may install the private sub-meter on either the tributary or the non-tributary line. Hose bibs may remain attached to the tributary line, but no credit against the SSC will be given. Only one (1) sub-meter is allowed per DWP water meter in accordance with Los Angeles Municipal Code (LAMC) Sec.64.41.03(g)3ii.

The SSC system also known as the winter water use program, bases the SSC upon the lowest average daily delivered water to the premise during the preceding winter rainy season (approximately mid-October to the end of April). This daily average of wastewater generation will be used to determine the customer’s SSC bill throughout the following year (six billing periods). The private sub-meter will substitute actual data for the estimate. Thus, the program should benefit many customers who use a greater than average volume of water for irrigation than for tributary uses.

Since the data from the private sub-meter will provide the best available estimate of the sewage flow generated from a customer’s property, the City‘s base rate of $3.27 per hundred cubic feet (hcf) of sewage flow will be applied to the readings of a private sub-meter (on the tributary line), or the differences between the readings of the Department of Water and Power (DWP) meter and a private sub-meter (on the non-tributary line), to calculate the customer’s SSC bill. The $3.27 per hcf represents the City’s cost to treat one hcf of sewage flow. This rate is the same as the SSC rate applied to customers on the winter water use program.


A. Let us evaluate a family with Ultra-low-flush toilets at their premises and they discharge 92 hcf to the sewer.

B. Take your lowest consumption (hcf) from a rainy season billing period (October 15 – May 1) and multiply it by (6) to get annual discharge to the sewer.

DWP billing date Water usage on bill:

04/17/09 – 06/14/09 78 hcf
02/16/09 – 04/17/09 44 hcf

12/15/08 – 02/16/09 34 hcf
10/14/08 – 12/15/08 90 hcf
08/16/08 – 10/14/08 193 hcf
06/16/08 – 08/16/08 77 hcf

C. For cost comparison of the winter water use SSC program with private water sub-metering program, multiply the total amount of water consumption used in one year by the SSC rate of $3.27.

SSC under the winter water use: 184 hcf X $3.27 (SSC rate) = $601.68
SSC under the private sub-metering: 92 hcf X $3.27 (SSC rate) = $300.84

D. Difference in cost comparison between the two systems.
$601.68 – $300.84 = $300.84

E. According to this example, you would have a lower SSC under the private water sub-meter program. Installation of a private water sub meter would probably be advisable.

F. Assume the private water sub-meter and an estimated installation cost of $400. The length of time that it would take you to recover your up-front cost of $400 is calculated as follows:

$400 divided by $300.84 = 1.33 years (or less if the DWCF is greater than 0.90).