Sewer charges calculated during winter

November 5, 2015

The three-month long calculation that results in the wastewater charges that will be assessed to each Prosper residence next year start on Nov. 15, says Kelly Vanaman, Utility Billing Administrator.

“Some water customers may not be aware of the process,” she said. “To come up with the amount the Town of Prosper charges each household for sewer service is actually rather simple. What’s important to remember, is that residents can actually have an impact on that process.”

The calculation process is repeated every year in exactly the same manner. 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 three-month period.

During the period between Nov. 15 and Feb. 15, the Town monitors water use at each household, and bases sewer charges on the amount of water being used during that period.

“Since there is yet no accurate way to measure how much wastewater goes into the various drains, sinks, toilets, showers or baths in a home, the way to get any kind of reading is to monitor the water use,” said Vanaman. It is that calculation that serves as the basis for the wastewater charge.

The reason this is done during the wintertime is because the Town, and virtually all other water and sewer utilities, figure that the vast majority of a home’s water use in the winter is used inside the home, and thus discharged into the sewer lines, since most homes will severely curtail or eliminate their outdoor irrigation in the winter.

So, why would the wastewater charge change from year to year? If the number of people in the home increases or decreases throughout the year, presumably the amount of water used during the winter will either go up or down. Or, a leaky faucet in the winter will not only drive the monthly cost of water up, it will show up in the sewer charges during the following year.

Also, washing half loads in the clothes or dish washer may affect the sewer charge as well.

“Starting on the 15th of this month, be mindful that your water usage determines your sewer charges for the following year,” she said.

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