Wastewater surcharges are charged to businesses that discharge wastewater exceeding “normal” wastewater standards. Business wastewater can be more heavily concentrated with solids and organic matter than residential wastewater, making it more expensive to treat. 

All customers subject to a surcharge are notified by letter, and the monthly surcharge fees are applied to the customer's monthly utility bill. They are based on quantity and quality. Quantity is based on the lower of:

  • The actual amount of discharged wastewater
  • For customers without separately metered irrigation systems, the average winter discharge

Quality is based on the amount of solids and organic matter in your wastewater. Much of the cost of treating wastewater is in solids removal and the amount of oxygen required to stabilize and digest organic matter. The surcharge is applied if average discharge quality exceeds one or more “normal strength” quality standards established for typical residential wastewater.  It is based on site-specific sample results for Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS) collected for periodic sample analysis. For customers whose site-specific samples have not been or cannot be collected, surcharges are assessed based on quality standards determined for similar businesses based on Standard Industrial Classification (SIC) Codes.

Normal Values (in milligrams per liter)
TSS 200
BOD 200
COD 450

Reduce Your Bill

Conserving water decreases water, wastewater and surcharge costs. Get more information about conserving water, including rebates for conservation efforts, or contact the Water Conservation Program Office at 512-974-2199.  

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