Water and Wastewater Rates

Effective November 2020

The Lincoln City Council approved a 5 percent revenue increase, which is effective November 2020.

The Lincoln Water and Wastewater System is a utility and does not receive City General Fund tax dollars. The income derived from rates pays for the maintenance and other costs involved in operating the two utility systems. In addition, a portion of this income is invested in Lincoln’s future through water and wastewater system improvements.

Residential Water Rates

Residential water bills are determined by an increasing block structure. Under this pricing formula, the more water you use, the higher the price per unit of water. Traditionally, residential water use has been a major cause of fluctuations between low winter and high summer use. The price structure’s intent is to encourage the wise use of water.

Water is sold by the unit. One unit equals 100 cubic feet or 748 gallons. Each water bill indicates how many units of water you purchased in a billing period. Lincoln’s rate structure has three price “blocks.” While water rates are based on use in a one-month period, most customers are billed bi-monthly. To make computing your bill easier, the chart shows price blocks on a monthly and bi-monthly basis.

Price Blocks $1.571/unit $2.233/unit $3.460/unit
Monthly 1-8 units next 15 units all additional units
Bi-monthly 1-16 units next 30 units all additional units

For example, to compute a bi-monthly use of 49 units:

Units Times Price Equals Total
units 16 x $1.571 = $25.14
units 30 x $2.233 = $66.99
units  3  x $3.460 = $ 10.38
49   *$102.51

* The water and wastewater service charge and wastewater fee must be added in to determine your total bill.

Non-Residential Water Rates

A majority of non-residential or business customers use a consistent amount of water year-round. As a result, the Lincoln Water System can more readily predict their water use and provide for those needs. In addition, nonresidential customers provide an economic base which is important to the development of our City. For these reasons a non-residential rate schedule was developed.

There are currently two levels of non-residential users. Customers who used less than 12 million cubic feet the previous calendar year will pay:

Price Blocks $1.571/unit $2.233/unit
Monthly 1-80 units all additional units
Bi-monthly 1-160 units all additional units

Non-residential customers who used more than 12 million cubic feet the previous calendar year are billed according to the high user schedule. On a calendar-year basis, a “base usage” of each high user customer is determined. The base usage is an average of the water usage of each high user customer for the previous three calendar years. The following rates would apply:

  • $1.491 per unit for water usage less than base to 5% above base
  • $1.546 per unit for water usage 5% to 15% above base
  • $1.595 per unit for water usage 15% to 25% above base
  • $1.644 per unit for all water usage more than 25% above base

Wastewater Fee

Unlike your water bill, the wastewater fee for residential customers will not change every billing period. Under this rate system, you pay for only the water sent into the wastewater lines.

To predict how much water you use for domestic purposes, the fee is based on your winter water usage. Water you use for summertime air conditioning, gardening, lawn watering and other outdoor uses is not included.

The wastewater rate is based on a flat fee of $2.132 per unit and is the same for all customers.

For example, if you use 20 units of water during a winter billing period, then your sewer use fee would be: units 20 x $2.132 = $42.64

This fee remains the same even in the summer months when water use normally increases.

Wastewater fees for non-residential users are determined by each month’s water use. In addition, some industries pay a surcharge for high-strength waste (LMC 17.60.050).

Water Service Charge

The water service charge on your bill covers the cost of accounting, billing, collecting money, meter services, etc. It also represents “an ability to serve” charge. This means that water will be supplied through public water lines large enough to meet the demands of each customer and the needs of a Citywide fire protection system.

The size of water meter determines what the service charge will be.

Water Meter Size 2020/21 Monthly Service Charge
5/8 inch $7.67
5/8 x 3/4 inch $11.59
3/4 inch $11.59
1 inch $19.35
1 1/2 inch $38.60
2 inch $61.77
3 inch $115.90
4 inch $193.19
6 inch $386.30
8 inch $618.09
10 inch $888.57

Wastewater Service Charge

Like the Water System, the Wastewater System must charge for services like accounting, sewer maintenance, etc.

The size of water meter determines what the service charge will be.

Water Meter Size 2020/21 Monthly Service Charge
5/8 inch $3.81
3/4 inch $7.38
1 inch $13.14
1 1/2 inch $26.05
2 inch $41.72
3 inch $78.37
4 inch $130.70
6 inch $261.18
8 inch $417.94
10 inch $600.98

Reminder to All Lincoln Water/Wastewater System Users

The water and sewer service lines from the main connections to a building are the responsibility of the building’s owner. (GIF, 20KB)

2020 Rate Survey

A rate survey was completed by Lincoln Water System in November 2020. The rates identified below are based on a monthly bill.

Water Rates

Residential customer with a 3/4" meter using an average of 11 units of water per month (including service charge).

11 units of water equals 8,228 gallons.

Local Water
Waverly, NE $30.82
Lincoln, NE $30.86
Nebraska City, NE $31.53
Beatrice, NE $31.95
Hickman, NE $39.00
York, NE $41.93
Rural Water District #1 $50.00
Seward, NE $55.55
Bennet, NE $74.58
Regional Water
Lincoln, NE $30.86
Omaha, NE $42.17
Wichita, KS $47.52
Cedar Rapids, IA $51.33
Springfield, MO $53.47
Des Moines, IA $68.66

Wastewater Rates

Residential customer with a 3/4" meter using an average of 9 units of wastewater per month (including service charge).

9 units of wastewater equals 6,732 gallons.

Local Wastewater
Lincoln, NE $26.57
Beatrice, NE $28.50
Bennet, NE $40.14
Nebraska City, NE $44.65
York, NE $45.50
Seward, NE $51.37
Hickman, NE $54.63
Waverly, NE $56.51
Regional Wastewater
Lincoln, NE $26.57
Cedar Rapids, IA $35.52
Wichita, KS $36.88
Springield, MO $43.39
Missouri River WW (Omaha) $67.31
Des Moines, IA $73.79

• PDF Version of Water/Wastewater Rates Brochure(PDF, 204KB)

Rates Archive

Related Links

Lincoln Municipal Code