Sewer Surcharge Overview
Minor Increases in Water Consumption Charges for 2017
- The City of Windsor has announced slight increases to the sewer surcharge rates, the first increase since 2012. The minor increase in 2017 is largely a result of decreased water consumption. The average customer that reduces water consumption similar to the trend will not pay more for the sewer surcharge component of their water bill in 2017.
- As always, consumers can reduce their sewer surcharge costs through continued conservation.
What is the Sewer Surcharge used for?
- The Sewer Surcharge on the water bill contains a fixed charge component based on the size of the service, and a consumption charge component based on water consumed. The revenue collected is used to fund capital projects largely related to alleviating basement flooding, along with operational expenditures related to sewer maintenance, sewage pumping stations, and sewage treatment plants.
- Increased summer consumption for uses that typically don’t return water to the sewer system (i.e. filling pools, washing cars, watering grass, etc.) is not included in the calculation of the sewer surcharge.
- The City on behalf of its residents maintains 1740 km of sewers, 43 pumping stations and 2 major pollution control plants. These assets have a value of approximately $2 billion.
- There is a need to comply with ever more stringent environmental regulations, which achieve important environmental objectives but are costly to implement. For example, the City recently spent $110 million to upgrade the Lou Romano Sewage Treatment Plant and $67 million on the Mario Sonego Storm Retention Treatment Basin (RTB).
Why are the Sewer Surcharge Paid as part of the Water Bill?
The sewer surcharge is a charge assessed on your Windsor Utilities Commission water bill, as sewer related costs incurred by the City are excluded from the property tax bill.
This methodology supports the “User Pay Principle” since a majority of the sewer surcharge related costs are directly related to the amount of water discharged into the sewer system and treatment plants. The transparency of allowing the consumer to monitor the amount of water used and sewer surcharge that they are being billed for, allows the consumers the ability to reduce their water consumption, thus reducing the amount of sewer surcharge fee that they pay.
If you require additional information, please call 311.