Rates and Fees

Helix’s rates and fees are set annually to recover the budgeted cost of serving our customers. The video below explains what’s included in that cost, and what your water bill pays for. Please note, the rates and fees shown are effective on or after March 1, 2019.

Video / Water rates provide funding for importing water and operating and maintaining our infrastructure.

Commodity Charge

The commodity charge is a fee for each unit of water a customer uses, and it pays for purchasing water from the San Diego County Water Authority, the treatment process, energy to pump water and other volume-based costs. March 1, 2019 rates include the San Diego County Water Authority’s wholesale water rate increase.



0-14 Units of Water
$4.82 per unit

15-34 Units of Water
$5.65 per unit

35+ Units of Water
$7.03 per unit


$5.47 per unit

Government and Commercial

$5.53 per unit 


Up to 100% of Budget
$5.65 per unit

101%+ of Budget
$7.03 per unit

Water Budget Policy & Calculations

2-Month Base Charge

Customers pay a base charge every two months whether or not water is used, because the base charge pays for fixed costs like customer service, engineering and construction, and debt service. The fee is prorated on a daily basis on a customer’s first and final bills.

Water Service

$49.32 for a 5/8 inch meter
$49.32 for a 3/4 inch meter
$72.08 for a 1-inch meter
$128.95 for a 1.5-inch meter
$197.19 for a 2-inch meter
$413.29 for a 3-inch meter
$731.75 for a 4-inch meter
$1,493.81 for a 6-inch meter
$3,199.88 for a 8-inch meter


Fire Service

$10.03 for a 3/4 inch lateral
$13.37 for a 1-inch lateral
$26.73 for a 2-inch lateral
$53.45 for a 4-inch lateral
$80.17 for a 6-inch lateral
$106.89 for an 8-inch lateral
$133.62 for a 10-inch lateral

Service Charges

$26.00 for a service call
$47.00 for a same-day service call
$33.00 for returned payments
$47.00 for water meter shutoff
$114.00 for water meter reinstatement
$164.00 for after-hours water meter unlock
$144.00 for shutoff for backflow noncompliance
$56.00 for metered, unauthorized water use

Construction and Development Charges

Go to Section 2.12 of Helix’s Policies and Procedures Manual for a schedule of construction and development fees.

Temporary Meter

Recovery of district installation costs
Monthy base charge
Per unit

When meter is removed, district will deduct these charges from deposit:

Final read and removal
Each meter relocation
Unauthorized meter relocation

Any unpaid water charges
Any repair and replacement costs

Meter Installation

3/4 Inch Meter
$143 meter cost + $120 installation fee = $263

1-Inch Meter
$199 meter cost + $120 installation fee = $319

1.5-Inch Meter
$505 meter cost + $143 installation fee = $648

2-Inch Meter
$726 meter cost + $143 installation fee = $869

District will recover all costs, and will collect a deposit to cover all costs.

When meter size decreases on existing lateral, fees are based on reduced size.

When meter size increases on existing lateral, fees are based on increased size, and the applicable increase in Helix capacity fees and San Diego County Water Authority charges are due.

Lateral Installation

1-Inch and 2-Inch Meters
The district will provide an estimate in advance for recovering the actual cost of the installation, abandonment and/or relocation of laterals.

Capacity Fees

3/4 inch meter / 1.00 hydraulic capacity factor 

1-inch meter / 1.67 hydraulic capacity factor 

1.5-inch meter / 3.33 hydraulic capacity factor

2-inch meter / 5.33 hydraulic capacity factor

3-inch meter / 10.00 hydraulic capacity factor

4-inch meter / 16.67 hydraulic capacity factor 

6-inch meter / 33.33 hydraulic capacity factor 

8-inch meter / 53.33 hydraulic capacity factor

Encroachment Permits

La Mesa
City’s current fee

Lemon Grove
City’s current fee

El Cajon
Fee based on city’s annual average of actual costs

County of San Diego
Fee based on county’s annual average of actual costs