Ross Valley Sanitary District collects a Sewer Service Charge on each property that is connected to the District’s sewer system. Property owners receive the annual charge on their property tax bill, which is collected by Marin County.
The District uses these funds to operate and maintain 200 miles of sewer pipes and 19 pump stations - to collect, pump, and transport four million gallons of wastewater per day. These funds also pay for treatment of wastewater by Central Marin Sanitation Agency (CMSA) for reuse and discharge to the Bay.
Not all parcels with an address in Larkspur pay the "Larkspur Rate". Parcels north of Corte Madera Creek (e.g., in Greenbrae, Drake’s Landing and Larkspur Landing) and in Riviera Circle pay the Ross Valley rate and a portion of their property tax goes to the District for its capital program funding.
To learn more about Sewer Service Charges Frequently Asked Questions and also see a map, showing the two rate zones in the Larkspur area of the District, click the link.
The average age of the pipes in the District’s collection system is 65 years old, with over 60% installed prior to 1955. In the last three years, capital funding has helped the District complete more than $40 million in infrastructure improvements for sewer and pump station rehabilitation, resulting in an improved sewer system with fewer stormwater-related overflows.
2021 Sewer Rate Schedule
In 2019, the District was at the end of a five-year period of scheduled sewer rate increases of been 6.5% to 7.5% per year since 2014. These rate increases made up for previous years when no rate increases occurred but regulatory requirements for strict quantities of sewer rehabilitation were mounting. The District has also been under regulatory order by the San Francisco Bay Regional Water Quality Control Board over the past five years to implement timely maintenance of our sewer system and to make systematic infrastructure upgrades to achieve long-term reliability.
In order to continue to meet these goals, the RVSD Board of Directors held a Public Hearing on Proposed Rates for Sewer Service Charges in June 2019 and adopted the new Sewer Service Charges shown below. Rates do increase over the next five years, but at an average rate that is lower than the previous five years. The new rates are designed to meet the demands of regulatory requirements and community standards for well maintained and high-performing sewer system operation.
To learn more about Permit and Capacity Fees, click the link.
To learn more about the ordinance enacting wastewater utility service charges, read Ordinance No. 101.
To learn more about the 2019 sewer rate study, read the Sewer Rate Study Final Report (April 18, 2019).
To view the Sewer Rate Study PowerPoint, visit the April 17 Rate Study PowerPoint (April 17, 2019).
To select and view discussion from the March 20 and April 17, 2019 public workshops on the sewer rate schedule visit the Board of Directors Agenda Center page.
Business & Residential Rates
Sewer service fees appear on Marin County Property Tax Statements. The fees charged for residential dwellings and businesses are calculated differently. Business fees are based on water usage. The more water that is used by a business, the more wastewater created for collection by the district and treatment by the sewage treatment plant.
Be aware that while your sewer fee appears as one charge on your tax bill, the fee actually funds two separate and independent organizations: Ross Valley Sanitary District, which provides the collection system that delivers wastewater to the treatment plant, and Central Marin Sanitation Agency, which treats wastewater before pumping it into the San Francisco Bay.
Requests for Refunds
If you believe that you have been billed incorrectly for the Sewer Service Charge, you may request a refund within 3 years of the date of the charge in question. View the refund request form by clicking the link.