Municipal customers pay 40% less than national average
The Metropolitan Council, in July, approved a schedule of wastewater collection and treatment charges for 2013 for the communities and industries that it serves. Overall, the Council’s rates for municipal customers are about 40% lower than the national average, according to a survey recently completed by the National Association of Clean Water Agencies.
The regional wastewater system, operated by the Council’s Environmental Services division (MCES), is financed entirely by user fees. The major sources of those wastewater fees are:
Municipal wastewater charge. The region’s 106 customer communities are charged this fee for wastewater collection and treatment; each community pays based on the amount of flow it contributes to the system. MCES will raise $178.8 million through this charge in 2013, about 3% more than in 2012. The increase (or decrease) in the regional charge for any individual community will depend on its flow contribution relative to all the other communities.
Sewer availability charge (SAC). This charge to communities is imposed for new connections or increased demand to the metropolitan wastewater system. The basic unit fee for a single-family dwelling will be $2,435 in 2013, an increase of $70 or just under 3% from 2012.
Smaller revenue streams come from industrial charges and hauled-waste fees. MCES assesses strength charges directly to about 800 connected industries for the additional costs to treat the greater pollutants in industrial discharges. Industrial users must also pay an annual permit fee. Liquid waste haulers pay directly for the waste they discharge at MCES disposal sites.
The Council will set the final MCES budget in December.
More about MCES' wastewater rates and charges.