Rates & Billing

The water meters used by the South Bend Water Works measure water in cubic feet. One cubic foot of water is 7.48 gallons.  

However, our billing units are measured in one hundred cubic feet (CCF) increments.  One hundred cubic feet is 748 gallons. 

The monthly minimum meter base charge is related to meter size.  Each monthly minimum meter base charge has a minimum water usage associated with it.  The minimum usage is measured in CCF. 

Water Rate Increase - 2017

  • On March 27th, 2017 South Bend approved a two-year water rate increase equal to 22% in the first year of implementation and 22% in the second  year of implementation.   These are the first water rate increases since 2006.
  • In March of 2018, the Indiana Utility Regulatory Commission approved the rate increases as requested.  The effective date of the first 22% increase is March 19th, 2018.
  • These water rate increases will fund just $23 million of the over $88 million in identified capital needs over the next 6 years.
  • South Bend’s water rates are among the lowest in comparable cities across Indiana, and will remain so even after full implementation.  For the average inside-city residential customer, a 22% water rate increase equates to:
    • A little more than $3.00 per month in additional water charges, or $0.10 per day.
    • A combined South Bend Municipal Utilities bill that increases by less than 4%.

Understanding your South Bend Utility Bill:

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Notice Regarding Recycling

Recycling services are currently provided by the Solid Waste Management District (SWMD) of St. Joseph County, which is neither a City nor County agency. Two recent changes to the District’s recycling program impact South Bend residents:

  1. The SWMD voted on January 9, 2017 to end direct billing and South Bend Water Works billing and instead charge all residents that receive recycling services via the semi-annual tax bill. Tax bill special assessments for recycling are the norm in almost every Indiana district. The tax bill due July 2017 will include a $20 assessment to cover six months of recycling services from Jan. 1, 2017 to June 30, 2017.
  2. Residents of the City of South Bend paid $23.64 per year for bi-weekly recycling collection. This charge has not increased since 1998. The SWMD, which has authority to change the base rates at any time, voted on February 6, 2017 to increase curbside recycling rates for South Bend residents to $40/year. This is an increase of 69%.

The City has stopped billing for recycling services, and refunds have been issued to residents who paid South Bend Water Works for recycling services in 2017.