Water Rates

Our retail water rates consist of a monthly minimum charge and a unit volume charge for water use above 2 Ccf (1,496 gallons).

Special rates apply for dedicated fire service lines and wholesale water service.

View current rate schedule 
View archived rate schedules
Water Rate Factors
Minimum Bill
The minimum bill is based on where you live (inside or outside the City of Charleston) and the size of your water service connection. Most residential customers have a 3/4-inch service line.

Larger connection sizes pay a higher amount because they carry more water and place a greater demand on our system. Commercial buildings that have a high water demand, such as hotels and industrial facilities, can have a service line up to twelve inches in diameter.

Your monthly minimum bill pays for water service availability and up to 2 Ccf (1,496 gallons) of water use. Even if you don't use any water, the infrastructure must be in place to make service available to you and provide fire protection. The monthly minimum charge recovers these costs, as well as costs associated with administrative services like meter reading and billing.

Minimum Bill rates, effective 1/1/2016

Connection Size Inside City Rate Outside City Rate
3/4 inch $12.25 $19.35
1 inch $14.95 $22.45
1 1/2 inches $26.90 $35.90
2 inches $36.20 $46.40
3 inches $76.00 $91.50
4 inches $121.25 $142.50
6 inches $236.00 $272.00
8 inches $349.50 $400.50
10 inches $463.50 $529.00
12 inches $531.50 $606.00
Volume Charge
If you use more than the 1,496 gallons (2 Ccf) included in the monthly minimum bill listed above, you'll pay a volume charge for each additional Ccf (748 gal) of water used. Add this amount to your monthly minimum charge.

Volume Charge rates, effective 1/1/2016

Water Use Inside City Rate Outside City Rate
Over 2 Ccf $1.70 per Ccf $3.24 per Ccf
Dedicated Fire Service Rates
Dedicated fire services are connections to the public water system that are only used for fire protection. These water service lines are typically connected to a building's fire sprinkler system.

There is no connection fee for the installation of a dedicated fire service, but there is a monthly rate determined by the pipe size, as shown in the table below.

Dedicated Fire Service rates, effective 1/1/2016

Connection Size Monthly Charge
Inside City
Monthly Charge
Outside City
4-inch or less $7.75 $11.75
6-inch $22.92 $34.00
8-inch $48.75 $73.00
10-inch $87.58 $131.00
12-inch $141.67 $211.50
Wholesale Water Service
In addition to providing retail water service to some 115,000 accounts, Charleston Water System is a wholesale provider of water to a number of utilities and municipalities in the greater Charleston area, including:

  • St. Johns Water Company (serves Kiawah and Seabrook Islands)
  • Dorchester County Public Works
  • Joint Base Charleston
  • City of Folly Beach
  • Mount Pleasant Waterworks
  • Isle of Palms Water & Sewer Commission
  • Town of Sullivan's Island