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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                November 14, 2005

Release No. ENV-34





            In order to improve service to the public, the Department of Environmental Services will put the following changes into effect on December 1, 2005 for customers who install or use submeters to determine their sewer service charges:


  • The requirement for a licensed engineer or architect to sign the drawing has been eliminated, except in cases where plans must go through the Department of Planning and Permitting (DPP) for approval.  If DPP approval is not required, a licensed plumber may be used to prepare the submeter plans in lieu of a licensed engineer or architect.
  • The procedure requiring that a customer read and report the meter reading on a specific day has been changed.  Now, customers may report their meter reading at their convenience and will receive credit for their submetered water usage on the next sewer bill.
  • Customers will be billed in a timely manner based on Board of Water Supply meter readings.  When submeter readings are submitted, customers will receive credit on their next bill.  This will enable customers to clearly determine how much the program is saving them.


            The City serves 308 customers that have installed wastewater submeters. A little more than half of them 161 are residential customers. The non-residential submeter program has been in existence since 1977. The residential program was added in 1997.


            Most residential customers are assessed a sewer service charge consisting of a monthly base charge and a usage charge.  In addition, customers receive a 2,000-gallon lifeline credit per residential unit and an 18 percent credit for water that is not discharged into the sewer system.  If installed, a submeter would be used in lieu of the 18 percent credit for water usage.  Thus, if it appears that more than 18 percent of water usage does not go into the sewers, for purposes such as irrigation, a customer may find it economically advantageous to install a submeter.


            Non-residential customers are assessed sewer service charges based on a metered water rate.  Installation of a submeter, in this case, may prove beneficial if the non-residential customer determines that a significant portion of their water usage goes to non-sewerables such as irrigation, cooling towers, etc.  Non-residential submeter customers are billed at the metered wastewater rate.


            For additional information on programs to help lower your sewer service charges and instructions on how to apply for the submeter program, please go to the Department of Environmental Services web page, or contact our Customer Service Section at 523-4408.






Timothy Houghton, executive assistant, 692-5157

Monday, November 14, 2005

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