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Financial Information

USD is proud to provide award-winning, cost-effective service that fulfills our mission to protect human health and San Francisco Bay. The information below illustrates how our rates compare to other utility costs and to the rates of other Bay Area wastewater agencies. It also provides details about our revenues and expenditures, and explains our accounting processes.

The District is a complex collection of facilities that includes more than 780 miles of sewer lines, seven pump stations, and the buildings and equipment at our Alvarado Wastewater Treatment Plant. Through careful fiscal planning, USD safeguards these public assets and efficiently uses its resources to provide outstanding service at low rates.

Please feel free to contact USD if you have any questions or desire more information.

 

Utility Charges: How USD Stacks Up

Typical Monthly Household Bills - 2012/2013 averaged rates

Sewer Rate shown is USD's FY 2014 residential rate

How do Our Rates Compare With Our Neighbors?

We annually survey 27 Bay Area wastewater agencies and communities to compare our residential sewer service charges and ensure that we’re giving our customers a competitive rate. The latest survey shows charges ranging from $195 to $875 per year.

District Revenues for Fiscal Year 2013

Revenues
Sewer Service Charges
$42,339,311
Capacity Fees
2,864,810
Interest Income 178,690
Other Operating Revenues 1,163,802
Total Revenues
$46,546,613

 

Sewer Service Charge by Customer Group (Fiscal Year 2014):

 

District Revenues 2004 - 2013

 

District Expenses for Fiscal Year 2013

Expenses
Operating Expenses
$34,154,742
Capital Improvement Program (new projects)
14,435,165
Debt Service (loan payments)
4,086,647
Total Expenses

$52,676,554

Operating Expenses 2013

Wastewater treatment & disposal

$12,188,259

24/7 operation of USD's 30 million gallon per day wastewater treatment plant, including equipment maintenance, laboratory testing and biosolids disposal

Chemicals & energy

$3,810,569

Primarily for treatment

Collection System maintenance

$7,198,413

Monitoring & cleaning of over 770 miles of underground sewer pipelines and 6 pump stations

Industry & business regulations

$80,567*

Ensuring local businesses meet state and federal requirements for discharge to the District

Engineering, inspection & permits

$4,856,708

Process permits for new connections; design, inspect and manage construction projects

Administration

$6,020,226

Billing, purchasing, warehouse, human resources, information technology, management
 

Total Operating Expenditures:

$34,154,742

 
* The numbers above are rounded to the nearest whole when calculating percentages. Industry and business regulations were less than one-quarter of one percent of USD's operating expenses in 2013.

 

Capital Expenditures 2004 - 2013

Fiscal Year
New Capacity Projects
Renewal & Replacement Projects
Total Capital Expenditures
2013
$2,738,698
$11,696,467
$14,435,165
2012
$3,032,556
$15,580,736
$18,613,292
2011
$1,030,689
$8,099,110
$9,129,799
2010
$2,793,278
$7,609,985
$10,403,263
2009
$4,134,515
$10,861,403
$14,995,918
2008
$1,070,104
$8,571,513
$9,641,617
2007
$333,087
$6,765,850
$7,098,937
2006
$584,634
$5,999,203
$6,583,837
2005
$5,981,158
$11,800,550
$17,781,708
2004
$12,443,532
$13,061,112
$25,504,644

 

Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for FY 2012 and FY 2013

A complete summary of USD's revenues and expenditures.

Other Financial Information

Accounting System

District financial records are maintained on the accrual basis of accounting as required by the Government Accounting Standards Board (GASB) Section 1600.125. Accrual basis accounting recognizes transactions, events, and circumstances when they occur, rather than when cash is received or paid.

Internal Controls

The District's internal controls adequately safeguard assets and provide reasonable assurance of proper recording of financial transactions. Internal controls include but are not limited to fraud protection checks, timely bank reconciliations, segregation of duties wherever possible, financial system access security, board review of expenditures, dual signatures, credit card restrictions and limitations. In addition, USD has a fraud reporting hotline and a Board Audit Committee, and undergoes an independent outside audit annually.


Budgetary Controls

Budgetary controls are maintained by the District to ensure compliance with the annual budget adopted by the Board of Directors. All financial activities for the fiscal year are included in the annual budget, along with a ten-year financial plan. Budgetary control is maintained at the management level for administrative and operating budgets, and at the project level for capital improvements. The Board of Directors receives budget updates monthly.


Revenues

The District receives its revenue from four primary sources: Sewer service charges, capacity fees, other minor operating revenues such as permits, inspections and outside work that we perform in cooperation with other municipalities, and interest earnings on reserve funds.


Sewer Service Charge

The sewer service charge is collected on the annual property tax bill. The District prepares the budget and the projections of needed revenue during the annual budget process, which is concluded by June 30th of each year. Sewer service charges to be collected are provided to the County of Alameda in August of each fiscal year. The District receives its primary payments of funds in December and April. The sewer service charge is divided into three primary categories of customers: Residential, commercial and institutional, and industrial. The calculation of the sewer service charge for the various categories of customers is based upon their average flow, as well as contribution of their projected solids load and chemical oxygen demand (waste strength) as indicators of pollutants discharged to the sewer.

Sewer service charges are used to pay for operating and maintenance costs and construction related to renewal or replacement of sewers, buildings and equipment.

The District has a sampling program to periodically test the flow from its industrial customers.The annual residential fee for 2013/2014 is $337.76 for a single family dwelling.


Capacity Fees

The District charges a sewer connection fee for all new customers of $5,329.20 for an equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) for Fiscal Year 2014. This is a flat rate. The charges for commercial, industrial, and office use are based on factors such as square footage, flow and type of business or industry. Revenues from capacity fees are used to fund capital projects and upgrades that increase capacity or that are closely related to the system's capacity.


Interest Income

The District earns interest on portfolio investments and the Local Agency Investment Fund, which is allocated to the major revenue categories (Capacity and Sewer Service) monthly by percentage of fund balance.

Operating Cost Factors

The District's budget and rates are often impacted by factors beyond our control that can drive our costs upward and often result in rate increases. Some of these "driving forces" in recent years have included the high cost of fuel and chemicals, rising construction material costs worldwide, new regulations, market-driven compensation packages, including medical insurance benefits, and increasing electrical costs. USD works to control these costs by generating a large portion of our own electricity, using alternative chemicals, deferring some construction projects and using energy-efficient equipment.


Debt Administration

The District has an outstanding debt of $40,648,331 as of June 30, 2013, comprised of nine State Revolving Fund Loans. The District anticipates issuing debt in the next fiscal year for a Thickener Project.

Risk Management

The District is a member of the California Sanitation Risk Management Authority (CSRMA), a joint powers authority established for the operation of common risk management and loss prevention programs. CSRMA provides the District with coverage for workers compensation, general liability and property loss insurance.

Audits                                                       

California state statutes require an annual independent audit of the accounts and financial records of the District. USD contracts annually with an independent audit firm (Vavrinek, Trine, Day & Co., LLP, Certified Public Accountants) to review the financial statements and present a report to the Board of Directors. Audit firms are changed on a regular basis.

Our Board has formed an Audit Committee which provides recommendations on auditor selection, reviews the audit report, and meets independently with the auditors. The Committee reviews with management and the independent auditors the effect of any regulatory and accounting initiatives (e.g. GASB pronouncements), as well as other unique transactions. In addition, the Committee reviews, if applicable, any serious difficulties or disputes with management encountered during the audit, and evaluates auditor performance.

Below is the link to the Independent Auditors’ Report for the past fiscal year:

Auditors Report FY 2013

 

To contact us regarding USD financial topics, contact Richard Cortes, Manager, Business Services, at (510) 477-7500.