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The original item was published from 11/26/2018 2:04:36 PM to 3/1/2019 12:00:10 AM.

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Posted on: November 26, 2018

[ARCHIVED] Sewer charges calculated in winter

Saving Water

November 26, 2018

Sewer charges calculated from November to February

Fixing leaks, limiting outdoor watering beneficial

MURPHY (November 26, 2018) The period during which residents’ average water use is used to determine sewer charges for the next year begins this month and concludes in February, says Customer Service Manager Teresa Thompson. 

                “Some of our water customers might not be aware of the process we use to determine annual rates for wastewater or sewer service,” she said.  “In actuality, residents can take proactive steps to have a positive impact on their household’s charges for sewer service.”

The calculation process is repeated every winter in exactly the same manner.  Simply stated, the average amount of water used in each home from November to February is recorded on a per-month basis, and that figure represents the monthly charges for sewer service over the following 12 months.

                “There is currently no accurate way to measure how much wastewater goes into the various drains, sinks, toilets, showers or baths in a home,” she said. “That makes it difficult to determine how much to charge for sewer service.  So, rather than guess, we monitor the average amount homeowners use during the winter months.”

                Averaging during the winter works best because the vast majority of a home’s water is used inside, and thus discharged into the sewer lines.  That’s due to the fact that most homeowners will severely curtail or completely eliminate their outdoor irrigation during the winter. 

And, while many households may not see a big change from year to year, some homes may actually see a drop or rise in the wastewater charge because of what happens during the winter averaging period.

For example, leaks, runny toilets, faucets left on, washing half loads in the clothes or dish washer, or any other unnecessary water use in the winter will not only drive the monthly cost of water up, but can also show up in the sewer charges during the following 12 months. 

                “From now until February residents should be mindful that their water usage has a direct effect on their sewer charges for the following year,” she said. 

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