Rates & Fees

Helix is a not-for-profit, local government agency formed in 1913. Unlike other government agencies, we are not funded by taxes. We charge fees to recover the cost of the services we provide, and state law prohibits us from collecting a penny more.

  1. Fixed Charge

The bimonthly fixed charge is based on meter size and covers costs that do not change based on the amount of water used, such as capital projects, transmission, distribution, meters, and service.  A customer's first and final bills may have this fee prorated based on the total number of days in the billing period.

Fixed charges effective May 1, 2023

Meter SizeCharge
 ≤3/4 inch
1 inch$88.22
1.5 inch
2 inches
3 inches
4 inches
6 inches
8 inches

  1. Variable Charge
  1. Pass-Through Charges
  1. Dedicated Fire Line Charge
  1. Service Charges

What Water Rates Pay For

Where does my money go?

  1. Video Transcript: Where Does My Money Go?

At Helix Water District, every dollar collected from customer bills goes directly towards the cost of providing our customers with a clean and reliable source of water. Let's take a look at how those expenses break down. 

Forty-five percent of each bill covers the cost of purchasing imported water. That's just about half of every dollar that we spend. Thirteen percent covers the operating and maintenance costs that keep our water delivery and treatment systems up and running. Twelve percent funds capital projects such as pipeline replacements, tank retrofits and expenses to buy equipment. Eleven percent covers water treatment and quality control costs, which ensure your water is safe to drink. Six percent covers administrative expenses needed to run the district. Three percent covers engineering costs; this allows the district to design and make improvements to our water treatment and delivery systems. Two percent covers meter reading, billing and customer service expenses, so when you have a question or need some help, Helix is there for you. Three percent pays for information technology, including the computers and software for administration and customer service that keep us running. Three percent covers energy costs to treat and pump water and the electricity used to operate district facilities. Two percent repays bonds and other debt, and not one penny goes towards profits. 

Helix is a not-for-profit agency. For more details, visit www.hwd.com.

Understanding the Delivery System

  1. Video Transcript: Understanding the Delivery System

We don’t necessarily understand or see the inner workings of water delivery from the source water to your tap. We all too often take that process for granted.

It’s more complicated than you actually might think.  Our water comes from several sources: 1) in the Colorado River; 2) up in northern California from the state water project; 3) from desalinated water in Carlsbad; and 4) we’re blessed here in the Helix Water District to have several reservoirs and a treatment plant.

We’re very fortunate in that we own Lake Cuyamaca up in the foothills in the Lagunas, and when we do get rain in the area, we take advantage of that.  We capture the water in Lake Cuyamaca, run it down into Lake El Capitan where we share rights with the city of San Diego, and from there we draw water into our treatment plant.

So when the water falls from the sky, we’re actually able to treat that water and put it through our distribution system through our pump stations, and our pipes, and our treatment systems right to your tap.  

The water delivery system is quite complex.  It starts from your raw water coming into the system through major transmission lines.  Those transmission lines feed into our treatment facility.  The water is treated to an incredibly high level that meets and or exceeds oftentimes state and federal mandates.  From there it goes through a series of pump stations to feed up to pump water reservoirs or tanks, the stuff that you see in your community, the big steel structures, and then from there the water gravity feeds to the actual houses.  And I like to kind of compare that to somebody’s individual irrigation system where if we have a sprinkler system watering your plants, there’s a lot just involved in maintaining and repairing those things.  So this water system is on a much larger scale, 733 miles with a wide variety of materials.  So we have to be prepared to really respond, assess, and maintain all of that at a moment’s notice.  It’s quite a complex process but we love what we do.

Our pipeline is distributed throughout the neighborhoods.  Our pump stations make sure those pipelines are always under pressure.  The tanks make sure we always have adequate supply and can serve our customers, and every customer has a small pipeline that’s tapped to our mains in the streets.  So when you open your faucet you’re always receiving water, really from our tanks and distribution system.  

The Helix Water District is a, is a large agency.  We serve over 270,000 customers, you know through 56,000 connections.  We have a lot of infrastructures. The infrastructure in today’s dollar amounts to about $1.6 billion.  We have over 700 miles of pipelines, 25 tanks, 25 pump stations, and about 56,000 services that we feed.

As public servants, our job is to make sure that your water is delivered.  As part of that goal, you never know we’re here and that means we’re doing a great job.