Rates and Charges

1. Municipal Wastewater Charges (charged to local government units)

We charge our customer communities for wastewater collection and treatment service. All 111 customer communities pay Metropolitan Council Environmental Services (MCES) an allocated portion of municipal wastewater charges based on the volume of wastewater treated. Most communities cover their own sewer costs by charging a higher "retail" rate to residents and businesses (these rate "mark-ups" are specific to each city). Questions? Contact MCES Finance by email.

Municipal Wastewater Charges
Time Period 2023 2024
Total MCES Municipal Wastewater Charges $263,702,525 $281,587,000
Total System Flow (January 1 - December 31 flow period) - two years prior 82.1 billion gallons 81.4 billion gallons

2. Metropolitan Sewer Availability Charge (SAC) (charged to local government units and other communities with building authority)

SAC is a one-time fee for new connections or increased capacity demanded of the metropolitan wastewater system. One SAC unit equals 274 gallons of maximum potential daily wastewater flow capacity. Communities are charged one SAC for a single-family residence. Communities pay a prorated SAC fee for all other types of buildings or wastewater demand based on the estimated capacity of wastewater they may demand. Additional information is on the SAC Program website.

Metropolitan Sewer Availability Charge (SAC)
Fee Type 2023 SAC 2024 SAC Discount
Base Unit* $2,485 $2,485  
Single-family Dwelling See Base Unit See Base Unit  
Apartment (w/out individual laundry facilities)     20%
Multi-dwelling Public Housing (w/out garbage disposals, or dishwashers)     25%
Multi-dwelling Public Housing (w/out individual laundry facilities, garbage disposals, or dishwashers)     40%
Commercial: Base Unit Fee x Number of Residential Equivalent Units (REUs) where the number of REUs is based on an estimated maximum potential flow volume      
Qualified Outdoor Spaces (effective 10/01/09)     75%
Industrial: Base Unit Fee x Number REUs where the number of REUs is based on the maximum normal flow volume See Base Unit See Base Unit  

*Rural Center rates are higher. East Bethel’s 2023 and 2024 SAC rate is $3185; Elko New Market’s 2023 and 2024 SAC rate is $4685.

3. Industrial Waste Capacity Charge (ICC)

Beginning in 2019, industries have the option to pay SAC for process discharge (which may reduce or eliminate large SAC payments) and a new way that industrial SAC is determined and billed. ICC will be determined and invoiced after each industry’s reporting period, but only for discharges above an industry’s SAC baseline flow. If baseline is exceeded, an industry has the option to pay ICC or purchase additional SAC units to limit future ICC payments.

  • Charges (per 1,000 gallons over baseline) are $2.25 for 2023, and $2.31 for 2024.
    • East Bethel’s ICC rate is for 2023 is $2.88 per 1,000 gallons over baseline and for 2024 is $2.96 per 1,000 gallons over baseline.
    • Elko New Market’s ICC rate for 2023 is $4.24 per 1,000 gallons over baseline and for 2024 is $4.35 per 1,000 gallons over baseline.

4. Industrial Strength Charges (charged directly to industries)

We charge fees for additional treatment costs when industrial wastewater has more pollutants than typical residential wastewater. We base industrial strength charges on the concentration of pollutants (as measured by total suspended solids (TSS) and chemical oxygen demand (COD)) and the volume of the discharge. We set strength charge rates based on expenses at wastewater treatment plants for treating TSS and COD in excess of normal residential wastewater. Industrial users are also subject to normal municipal wastewater (volume) charges and SAC through their host communities.

Industrial Strength Charges - Within Council Region
Time Period 2023 2024
Cost per excess pound of Total Suspended Solids (TSS) $0.292 $0.310
Cost per excess pound of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) $0.146 $0.155

5. Liquid Waste Hauler Load Charges (charged directly to haulers)

Liquid waste haulers pay MCES for septage, leachate, and other hauled wastes that are discharged to approved MCES disposal sites. The load charge combines a strength charge component, a facilities component and a volume component. The volume component is based on the MCES municipal wastewater rate. In addition, a $15.00 per 1,000 gallons Service Fee applies to hauled wastes originating outside the Region. Load charges are different for holding tank, portable toilet waste, septage and industrial wastes.

Load Charges (per 1,000 gallons)
Time Period 2023 2024
Standard Load Charge $60.24 $61.60
Holding Tank Rate $11.69 $12.74
Portable Toilet Waste Rate $77.46 $78.45
Collar-county Load Charge (includes $15.00 per 1,000 gallons service fee for waste from outside the region) $75.24 $76.60

6. Industrial Discharge Permit Fees (charged directly to industries)

Industrial users of the wastewater system must apply for a permit from MCES to discharge wastewater. Users issued a permit are subject to annual permit fees, which recover a portion of the costs to administer the industrial pretreatment program. Permit fees are based on permit type, annual volume of wastewater, Significant Industrial User (SIU) status and reporting frequency.

2024 Industrial Discharge Permit Fees
Volume (million gallons per year) >50 m. <50 m. >10 m. 5-10 m. 2-5 m. <2 m. >1 m. <1 m.
Quarterly Reporters $12,350 $10,325            
Semi-annual Reporters     $8,225 $6,200 $4,050 $2,050    
Annual Reporters and Liquid Waste Haulers             $2,050 $1,250
General Permits $100-$500              

7. Industrial Waste Temporary Capacity Charge

We assess this charge for temporary use of the metropolitan wastewater system (for example, disposal of treated contaminated groundwater). This charge is assessed in lieu of SAC due to the temporary nature of a service — essentially renting capacity in the system.

  • Charges (per 1,000 gallons) are $1.25 for 2023, and $1.25 for 2024.
    • East Bethel’s Temporary Capacity Charge is $1.60 for 2023 and 2024.
    • Elko New Market’s Temporary Capacity Charge is $2.36 for 2023 and 2024.

8. Self-monitoring Report Late Fees (charged to industries)

We assess this charge to permittees who fail to submit a complete self-monitoring report on a timely basis. The late fee amount is based on the frequency and severity of late reports.

Self-Monitoring Report Late Fees
Days Late 1-30 Days 31-60 Days 61-90 Days  Total
1st Late Report $150 $150 $150 $450
2nd Late Report $150 $200 $250 $600
3rd Late Report $150 $250 $300 $700
4th Late Report $150 $300 $350 $800

9. Stipulation Agreement Payment (charged to industries)

These negotiated monthly payments and daily penalties are intended to negate the economic advantage of noncompliance with federal pretreatment standards or local limits.

10. Industrial Waste Cost Recovery Fees (charged to responsible/requesting parties)

We charge these fees to recover our costs from any responsible party associated with spill or enforcement responses, non-routine data requests, special discharge requests, orders to appear or notice of violations.

11. Encroachment Application Fee (charged to private parties that propose to encroach)

This fee recovers administrative costs for time spent by MCES staff developing and processing encroachment agreements. It covers the average costs associated with reviewing the application and preparing the agreement. Additional information may be found on the interceptor page.

The 2023 and 2024 encroachment application fee is $600.

12. Direct Connection Application Fee (charged to local government units)

This fee, which is billed to the city or township, applies when a request is made to connect directly to an MCES interceptor. It recovers administrative costs for time spent by MCES staff on a connection request (an average of 16 hours is spent permitting, reviewing, modifying, drawing, and inspecting). Since about half of MCES staff time spent on a request is done before the actual connection is made, half of the fee will be refunded if MCES does not approve the connection. The Connection Application Form link can be found on the interceptor page.

The 2023 and 2024 direct connection application fee is $1,000.

Contact Us

MCES Finance

Ned Smith
[email protected]