The Rate Study Process:

As a District, we have a number of challenges facing us, including wastewater plant upgrades that have both capacity and environmental benefits, acquiring reliable sources of potable water for our existing and future users, and promoting conservation that will both support maintaining an adequate water supply and managing future capital expansion needs. Most of all, we have an obligation to responsibly take care of the District as a whole and this includes making sure that we have the financial resources to accomplish the variety of tasks put in front of us. To help the District, AE2S Nexus, a division of AE2S, was brought in to assist staff in developing the financial plan for our water and sewer system. AE2S Nexus brings years of experience working with water and sewer utilities like ours to help implement industry best practices in financial planning. The work completed by AE2S Nexus includes detailed Cost of Service, Rate Design, and Revenue Adequacy analyses that formed the basis for a five-year financial plan.  The plan is based on projected annual operating expenditures and capital expenditures that are necessary to continue to provide high quality water of sufficient quantity into future.  The plan contains rate recommendations for 2020 as well as a forecast of future rate adjustments, which will be reviewed annually and modified based on actual revenue generated and updated revenue requirements.

What is a Rate Study and why did we need one? The video below provides a high level description of a Cost of Service Analysis (COSA). []  The results of the COSA identified whether the existing method of charging for water use collecting revenue from users at a level commensurate with the cost of providing water service. In Big Sky, we have a unique combination of condominiums, regular residences, and a smaller amount of commercial for which water use is directly related to peak tourism seasons.

Read More…

If you would like to compare your bill using the current rates with the proposed water and sewer rates click on on the link.  You will need your water usage from your quarterly water & sewer bill.

Sewer and Water Customer Billing Information

The District bills its customers for sewer and water services on a calendar quarter basis in arrears. Bills are mailed out the first week of January, April, July and October of each year. The service charges for sewer and water are calculated from water meter readings which the District collects for each billable property. Most of the water meters are connected to the phone system and call in to a computer at the District office on a weekly basis. Meters without phone service are read manually at least once a quarter for billing purposes.

Contact Information
If you have questions about customer billing please contact:

Terry Smith

Water Meter Information
Please go to the water meter page for information about our water metering program. This page has information about reading your water meter and links to technical information about our meters.

Water Meter Page

JULY 1, 2018



Type of Improvement Inspection Charge[1]
• Remodeling or change in use that changes SFEs $50
• Single Family Residence $200
• Two (2) through Four (4) units of improvement $350
• Five (5) through ten (10) units of improvement; and each commercial building less than or equal to 10,000 square feet $500
• Eleven (11) or more units of improvement; and each commercial building greater than 10,000 square feet $1,250
[1] For wastewater permitted projects on Westland/TM land in Section 1 the inspection fee shall be 50% of the applicable inspection fee.


A. Wastewater User Charges    
Type of Rate 2018 (1%)
• Base Rate $26.88 per month ($80.64/Qtr.)
• Variable Rate[1] charged for every 1,000 gallons of water use. $6.55 Per 1,000 Gals.
[1] (For single family homes the 2nd & 3rd quarter sewer charges based on winter average use for the period Oct. 1 – March 30 from the preceding year.)
B. Water User Charges
Type of Rate 2018 (1%)
• Base Rate $16.90 per month ($50.70/Qtr.)
• Variable Rate[1]charged for every 1,000 gallons of water use.
Tier 1: 0 to 60,000 Gallons $2.73 Per 1,000 Gals.
Tier 2: 60,000 to 90,000 Gallons $4.08 Per 1,000 Gals.
Tier 3: 90,000 to 120,000 Gallons $5.45 Per 1,000 Gals.
Tier 4: > than 120,000 Gallons $6.82 Per 1,000 Gals.
[1] (Variable charges are calculated on actual use per quarter)
C. Flat Rate Water & Sewer Rates    
Type of Rate 2018
• Sewer SFE Rate Charge $27.85 per month ($83.55/Qtr.)
• Water SFE Rate Charge $20.55 per month ($61.65/Qtr.)
D.Vacant Lots
Type of Rate 2018
• Sewer Availability  ($22.50 qtr) $7.50 Per month
• Water Availability  ($22.50 qtr) $7.50 Per month


   A.     Single Family Homes & Single Condos   
Type of RateCondo SizeSFEs /
1,000 Sq. Ft.
• Rate 1< 2,000 Sq. Ft.0.85
• Rate 22,001 to 3,000 Sq. Ft.0.65
• Rate 33,001 to 4,000 Sq. Ft.0.55
• Rate 4> 4,000 Sq. Ft.0.45
[1] Plant Investment Charge (PIC): For Boyne owned lots (i.e. Cascade, Mountain Village, etc) as of July 25, 1997, the PIC charge is $7,000 per SFE ($3,500 PIC and $3,500 surcharge) as itemized on permit.
   B.     Multiple Unit Condominiums   
Type of RateCondo SizeSFEs /
1,000 Sq. Ft.
• Rate 1< 1,000 Sq. Ft.0.95
• Rate 21,001 to 2,000 Sq. Ft.0.85
• Rate 32,001 to 2,300 Sq. Ft.0.75
• Rate 4> 2,300 Sq. Ft.0.65


   A.     Bulk Water User Charges   
Type of RateCharge  
• Hydrant Use Permit Fee$50  
• Bulk Water Rate- Fills < 1,000 Gallons$10  
• Bulk Water Rate- Fills > 1,000 Gallons$10 per 1,000 gals  


   A.     Delinquent Accounts   
Type of RateCharge  
Delinquent accounts that are transferred to Gallatin or Madison County for collection through the tax role$100  
   B.     Property Transfers   
Type of RateCharge  
Title Company requests for current billing information for property transfers, change of ownership and/or change of renter$50  
   C.     Permit Reimbursements   
Type of RateCharge  
Retained connection permit fees for projects not constructed$100  
   D.     Reactivation Charge   
Type of RateCharge  
Reactivate water service by turning curbstop back on after it has been shut off.$100  
   E.     Fire Hydrant Flow Test   
Type of RateCharge  
Fire hydrant flow test cost per hydrant test$150 

Automated Bank Draft Billing Available

To get your account set up on the bank draft system click the link below for the required form. Complete the form and send it to BSWSD, P.O. Box 160670, Big Sky, MT 59716 with a voided check from the account that charges should be drafted. If you have any questions please call Terry at 406-995-2660, or email him at

Follow the link for Bank Draft Authorization Form to get started Bank Draft Authorization Form.pdf

Late Payments & Penalties

The District provides at least a 45 day period in which customer payments must be received to be considered current.  The District bills in arrears therefore 45 days after billing customer accounts they are considered late and are subject to the District’s late fee policy from the day after billing. The District currently charges an annualized 12% late charge on the outstanding balance once the account is past due.  Late charges are posted prior to late notice mailing and then again just prior to billing the next quarterly water and sewer charges.  If you have any questions call Terry at 406-995-2660, or email him at