Environment, Education, Energy: Policy to People

Interactive Map: The Cost of Water in Oklahoma

Municipal Water Rates – 2012

Residential Water Rates

5,000 Galons Per Month

There are more than 750 local water authorities in Oklahoma. There isn’t a comprehensive database of water costs, but data from the Oklahoma Municipal League offers a snapshot of the rates residential and business customers pay each month.

The data, based on surveys the Municipal League conducts every other year, shows a wide range in water costs.

The lowest residential rates were reported in Gage, a tiny town of 440 people in far western Oklahoma, where residents pay $8.60 for 5,000 gallons a month.

Fort Towson, a small town of about 500 in far southeastern Oklahoma, reported the highest residential water rates. Customers there pay $66 for the same amount of water.

The Municipal League survey includes data from 179 of its 462 member communities, says executive director Carolyn Stager. The data is broken down into two categories — residential and commercial customers — and divided by total monthly use of water.

Commercial Users

Fort Supply, a town of about 300 in northwestern Oklahoma, has the cheapest rates for water users in both commercial tiers — 50,000 and 200,000 gallons a month, the data show.

When it comes to high costs for commercial customers, Stratford, a central Oklahoma town of about 1,500, is highest. Stratford businesses pay $750 a month for 50,000 gallons of water. The ironically named Commerce, a northeastern Oklahoma city of about 2,400, is the most expensive for customers in the largest use tier. In Commerce, commercial customers pay $2,451 per month for 200,000 gallons per month.

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  • Infrastructure is the invisible factor here. Some of these water rates are higher because the utility is making the WISE decision to update crumbling infrastructure, and some of the low ones are clearly not doing that. And some have easy access to cheap water while others have to buy it from neighboring systems or pipe it a long way. Don’t be fooled into thinking that low prices now are always a good thing, or that high prices mean the utility is wasteful or inconsiderate of the impacts on economic development.

  • joewertz

    You’re right, Damian: Infrastructure costs are a huge component. Water systems are some of the most expensive capital projects of any town, regardless of size. Geography and proximity to surface/groundwater also plays a huge role. Where do you live, Damian? Curious what’s going on in your neck of the woods, water wise.

  • Phoenexx

    I’m not happy to see that Norman, with one of the worst water supplies in the nation, has one of the higher prices in Oklahoma.

  • joewertz

    How long have you lived in Norman, Phoenexx?

  • GrowingNokc

    Nothing in OKC :( How am I supposed to know where I stand???

    • joewertz

      GrowingNokc: I did some more digging to answer your question about OKC’s water rates:

      OKC charges $2.55 per thousand gallons, which doesn’t change with the volume of water used, according to Utilities Director Marsha Slaughter. So this is the breakdown for OKC:

      5,000 gpm – $12.75
      10,000 gpm – $25.50
      50,000 gpm – $127.50
      200,000 gpm – $510.00

      OKC is among the cheapest rates, when you compare the costs to other municipalities in the survey data we received. You’re in a good spot!

  • Anita Gunter

    if you only use 189 gallons a month how mush is your water bill

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