Santa Margarita Water District restructures rates for San Juan Capistrano

Santa Margarita Water District restructures rates for San Juan Capistrano

San Juan Capistrano residents can expect to see changes on their Santa Margarita Water District bill in September thanks to a vote by the Board of Directors to approve changes to the drinking water, recycled water, and wastewater rate structure.

“The cost of doing nothing puts our community in a dangerous situation,” said SMWD Board President Frank Ury. “Infrastructure throughout the City is in desperate need of repair.”

San Juan Capistrano residents will see an increase of up to $30 per month, on average in their monthly water and wastewater bills, whereas commercial customers with a fire meter will see an average increase of 31% on their monthly bills.

“This rate restructure is an important step to bring the San Juan Capistrano rate structure in line with costs,” said Director Laura Freese. “This allows us to continue to make improvements to critical infrastructure to ensure reliable and sustainable services.”  The District plans for rate increases in San Juan Capistrano at a measured pace over the next several years.

The last time rates were changed in San Juan Capistrano was 2018. The district says the adjustments bring the rates in San Juan Capistrano closer to what neighboring communities pay, but they are still less than what many other communities have incurred over the last several years.

Santa Margarita Water District became San Juan Capistrano’s water and wastewater service provider in November 2021. The District has already invested over $7 million in improvements to the system infrastructure with another $40 million in planning for the next five years.

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