The Value of Water - What You're Paying For

When you pay your water and sewer bill, those funds pay for our operations—everything from treating drinking water and providing fire protection to maintaining sewer lines and staffing our customer service call center. 

Our water services...

  • Protect public health and the environment
  • Provide fire protection
  • Support our economy
  • Support quality of life

Water: What You Pay For (3:00)

Produced by the Alliance for Water Efficiency

With more than 1,800 miles of water mains, 700 miles of sewer pipe, and three treatment plants, our largest expense is replacing aging infrastructure and
building new infrastructure to meet the needs of a growing population and new regulatory requirements.

Our rates are set to recover the costs of providing service and fund new infrastructure. We identify short and long-term infrastructure needs through a master planning process. Priority projects are then bundled into Capital Improvements Programs, which are funded by periodic bond issues. Revenue from impact fees and retained earnings is also used to fund capital projects.

Water systems provide fire protection

One of Charleston Water System's 9,000 fire hydrants
The same pipes that carry water to your home also provide water for fire protection.

Our infrastructure is designed to provide enough water at a moment's notice to fight a fire, and we own and operate more than 10,000 fire hydrants in our service area. 

Water and sanitary sewer services protect public health

Clean drinking water and wastewater treatment prevent the spread of disease. In a world where more than 3.4 million people die every year from preventable waterborne disease, the importance of clean drinking water can't be overstated.

Water infrastructure supports our economy

A reliable, plentiful water supply is essential to support a thriving economy. For many businesses, water is critical to their day-to-day operations, and companies considering locating in the Greater Charleston area look for a robust water supply, among many other factors.

Clean water services support quality of life

Any measure of a successful society ― low mortality rates, economic diversity,
productivity, and public safety ― are in some way related to access to safe water. In
our country, we take for granted that safe water is always accessible to drink, to
wash our clothes, to water our lawns and for a myriad of other purposes. When
water service is interrupted, we’re all reminded of the extraordinary value of water resources and service.

Value of Water - Invest in Infrastructure