Winter may not seem like important months to watch your water usage – typically you think more about water during summer months – but residents need to be aware of any leaks or other water issues they may have in December through February. These are the three months the City uses to average customers’ portable water usage to calculate sewer rates for the rest of the year.
The City averages the months of December, January and February when setting water rates for the next year. For the majority of citizens, these months are a good example of all of the water going down drains, not including irrigation or other warm-weather water activities. This provides a reasonably accurate method to determine the flows treated at the Wetlands & Water Reclamation Facility, thus, what you will be charged for.
There are a few things you can do to help conserve, including:
• check for leaking faucets and running toilets;
• install water-efficient plumbing fixtures; and
• turn off the water while brushing your teeth.
Conserving water during these three months will reduce your sewer charges for the rest of the year.
To figure sewer charge, first find the three-month usage average of December through February. The current sewer rate is $2.60/cubic foot plus a readiness to serve fee of $12.61. Multiply your average usage (for example 800 cubic feet) by 0.026 which equals $20.80, add the $12.61 readiness to serve fee for a total sewer charge of $33.41. This will be your monthly sewer charge for the rest of the year.
Sewer rates are an integral part of the Sewer Fund, which pays for the operation and maintenance of our sewer collection system including underground piping and lift stations. In addition to the collection of sanitary sewer flows, the Wetlands & Water Reclamation Facility has to treat it by removing nutrients and any harmful bacteria before discharging to the Walnut River. To learn more about the treatment plant and where your wastewater goes please contact Jason Patty with the Utilities Department at 316-321-9100 to schedule an on-site visit.