Surcharge Revenues at Work
What is the sewer surcharge revenue used for?
Major components funded by the sewer surcharge revenue in 2020 include the following:
- Capital expenditures for major sewer related projects: $42.1 million. In order to address basement flooding and environmental issues, this component of the sewer surcharge has increased from approximately $5 million in the early 2000s. An additional investment of $6M was made in 2020.
- Operating the treatment plants, pumping stations and sewer maintenance: $24.6 million
Debt repayment costs for the upgraded and expanded $110 million sewage treatment plant: $2.6 million
Billing, collections, refunds and program administration: $7.5 million
The City currently maintains approximately 1,760 km of varying types of sewers in our system with replacement costs estimated at $1.2 billion. Furthermore, there are two water treatment plants, 44 pump stations, a new storm retention treatment basin (RTB) and other associated equipment that add hundreds of millions of dollars to the cost, likely bringing the total investment to the range of $2 billion. The corporation has a significant investment in assets associated with wastewater collection and treatment that needs to be maintained.
Total projected sewer surcharge revenues:
- Total sewer surcharge revenue is projected to be approximately $76.8 million in 2020 (annualized).
- The sewer surcharge rates were developed to generate the sewer surcharge revenue projected to be required in the 5-Year Sewer Surcharge Plan.
Good news for the environment and basement flooding:
The City's investment in the secondary treatment of wastewater at the Lou Romano Water Reclamation Plant will have significant environmental benefits by dramatically improving the quality of water discharged into the Detroit River. The recommendations from the sewer master plan will allow the City to continue to improve and add infrastructure to mitigate the effects of climate change and the inherent risks of flooding.