The City of Arcata will hold a public hearing to discuss proposed adjustments for the City's water & sewer rates on Wednesday, July 1 at 6 PM. 

In preparation for that meeting, Director of Environmental Services, Mark Andre, held two public Zoom Q&A sessions on May 28 and June 2, 2020. You are encouraged to watch the presentation to learn more about the rate adjustment, what the funds will be used for and how you may be affected. That video is available at: https://youtu.be/OFLFr4RogxQ?list=PL7tMq3MmkA5pS_6Vwcu1hyYEmrd8TIIDm 

Public Hearing: July 1, 2020 Meeting starts at 6:00 p.m. at https://arcataca.iqm2.com/Citizens/default.aspx

Arcata residents, please listen to /comment at a proposed five-year water and wastewater rate increase public hearing by the City Council. The proposed rates are based on an independent study, by financial advisors Bartle Wells Associates, that considered overall service costs, capital repairs, replacements and new critical projects construction.

Key Independent Study Findings:

• Water Enterprise in good financial health, rate revenue increases projected to cover Operations & Maintenance (O&M), Capital and Debt Service Requirements;

• Water Cash reserves will stay above recommended target;

• Wastewater Enterprise is preparing to upgrade the Wastewater Treatment Plant;

• Wastewater Rate increases needed to fund capital expenditures and State Revolving Loan (SRF) loans debt service;

• Water and Wastewater 3%+ operations cost increases built into financial plan; and

• Wastewater Cash reserve recommended target is >30% O&M.

If approved, the water rate increase would go into effect September 1, 2020 and wastewater rate increase would go into effect January 1, 2021.

What do water and sewer rates fund?

The City has over 6,200 water and sewer services customers (rate payers) and service fees received are the primary revenue to pay for services costs. All services revenue is used for water and sewer system maintenance and operations, including raw water, electricity, treatment, maintenance, capital improvements and utility staff, but not for any other general governmental purposes.

Ratepayer Review

The City must have rates reviewed through the Proposition 218 (“Right to Vote on Taxes Act”) process. The City mailed a notice to rate payers (both property owners and registered water customers) Rate payers may file a written protest for their parcel before the public hearing. A valid protest must contain a description of the serviced property (such as address or assessor’s parcel number number), the name, signature, address and phone number of the signer(s) and your statement of the specific rate changes for which you protest the increase in the fee.

Written protests may be:

• mailed to: City of Arcata, Environmental Services Department, 736 F Street, Arcata, CA 95521; 

• deposited in: Water Bill Drop Boxes located outside City Hall on F St and by the Library.;

• if City Hall is open, protests can delivered to the Environmental Services Department inside City Hall. 

One written protest will be counted for each parcel mandated to comply with proposed rates. If valid protests filed are not sufficient for a simple majority, the proposed rates go into effect.

About the Program

The Water/Wastewater Division monitors, reports, tests and treats all drinking water for the City of Arcata and the Jacoby Creek Water District. It monitors, reports, tests and treats all wastewater, including 55-acres of oxidation ponds and 225-acres of treatment and enhancement marshes which make up the Arcata Marsh and Wildlife Sanctuary. Information on the quality of the City's water is available in the City of Arcata Consumer Confidence/Water Quality Report and in the Jacoby Creek Water District Consumer Confidence/Water Quality Report.

Drinking Water

Learn more about the drinking water that is provided to the City.


This Division is responsible for the monitoring, reporting, testing and treatment of all wastewater for the City of Arcata, including 11 wastewater pump stations, 55 acres of oxidation ponds and 154 acres of treatment marshes.