Residential Sewer Averaging

Once a year, the amount of water that a house uses is averaged to establish a set rate for the specific account’s monthly sewer charge. The City does use a flat rate system. By using sewer averaging, the residents pay for what they create, they can influence the sewer charges, and the bill is more predictable. The averaging process considers the months of November, December, January, and February. Conserving water during this period will help control the monthly sewer volume charge.

Why is the volume of water consumed at the address used to calculate the sewer volume rate?

The inflow of water to the property is directly related to the outflow of sewer and the cost to process wastewater. By averaging the inflowing water consumption, a real expected outflow can be projected.    

Why does sewer averaging use the winter months? 

Historically, the four lowest water consumption months for residential customers are during the winter months.  Water use is lower during this time because most people are not engaging in outdoor watering.  Most of winter water use is directly entering the sanitary sewer for wastewater processing.

The process of sewer averaging: 

The water used during the consecutive months of November, December, January, and February is measured. The single winter month with the highest water usage is removed from the calculation. The water amount for each of the remaining three months is added together and then divided by 3. The outcome of this calculation reflects a conservative expectation of an address’ average incoming winter water consumption.  

Each accountholder's sewer volume charge, the charge for processing wastewater, is based on the specific house’s average water consumption (see above for the relation of inflow to outflow) as determined by the process of Sewer Averaging. Each spring, the utility bill is updated to reflect a residence's new sewer volume charge that is effective for one year. It is expected that the sewer charge will be unique to each family's individual water inflow and outflow. 

Do all customers have their sewer averaged?  

Only established residential customers are eligible for sewer averaging. New residents who move into an address during the winter months will not be eligible until the next round of averaging because the process requires four full months of water use data. New residents will be charged the minimum base rate for sewer until they complete a winter in the property. 

How can I reduce my bill?   

You have control over the sewer average since you have control over how much water is used during the winter. Since residential sewer charges are based on each individual resident’s winter water consumption, you can lower your sewer charge by being water conscious during the winter months. Quickly take care of running toilets and dripping faucets. Keeping water usage as low as possible during the winter months will pay off for the next twelve months. 

Please contact Utility Billing at 972-564-7304 with questions regarding sewer averaging, the sewer volume charge (SVC), or the sewer service fee (SSF).