Sewer Charges

How are sewer charges determined?
What is "average winter consumption" (AWC)?

Why does the city use winter water use for sewer billing?

How does the city update my winter water use?

I had guests visiting over the holidays. Why should I pay higher sewer bills?

I moved into my home after last winter?

What if I don’t have the four winter months to use for my average?

How are sewer charges determined?

Residential accounts (one to three dwelling units) - sewer charges billed December - March are based on the volume of water consumed; i.e. one unit of water consumed equals one unit of sewer billed. Sewer charges billed the rest of the year are based on the average water consumption billed from December - March. If water consumption drops below the average consumption, sewer charges also drop to match actual water consumption. In addition, there is a monthly flat rate billed based on the size of the water meter. There is no sewer tax.

Commercial properties and residential accounts with more than three dwelling units are billed straight across (the sewer consumption is billed the same as the water consumption) for water and sewer services. Commercial accounts are also taxed on water consumption. The State of Minnesota will give an exemption for part of the water tax to certain types of businesses. The exemption depends on how much of the water consumption is used in a product or an industrial process, etc.

These charges are for the treatment of water that drains into the sanitary sewer system and for taking care of the sewer system.

What is "average winter consumption" (AWC)?

It is the average water consumption billed December through March.

Why does the city use winter water use for sewer billing?

Sewer charges are for the treatment of water that drains into the sanitary sewer system and for taking care of the sewer system. The City uses winter water average for residential properties with less than three dwellings in recognition of the different types of water usage throughout the year. Customers’ water usage may increase in the spring, summer and fall months due to outside activities, including watering lawns or washing cars. This water usage does not go into the sanitary sewer system.

How does the city update my winter water use?

During the winter months (December-March), sewer bills "straight across" or the same as water. Then the average is taken for these four months and used as a base for sewer billing for the rest of the year. If water consumption drops below the established winter sewer consumption, sewer charges also drop and bill "straight across."

I had guests visiting over the holidays. Why should I pay a whole year of higher sewer bills because they were here over the winter water use period?

Having guests for a few days will not substantially increase the usage. Also, if water consumption drops below the established winter sewer consumption, sewer charges also drop and bill "straight across" or the same as water.

I moved into my home after last winter, is my billing based on the previous owner’s use?

Yes, however if water consumption drops below the established winter sewer consumption, sewer charges also drop and bill "straight across" or the same as water.

What if I don’t have the four winter months to use for my average?

If there is no billing history available to set the average winter consumption (AWC), the size of the meter at the property is used to determine the AWC.

Last updated Apr 4, 2014