Rates & Charges

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

The charge to communities for sewer service treatment. All 110 customer communities pay MCES an allocated portion of MCES 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 2020 2021
Total MCES Municipal Wastewater Charges $235,629,000 $240,342,000
Total System Flow (January 1 - December 31 flow period) - two years prior 87.9 BG 97.0 BG

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

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 2020 SAC 2021 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  

3. Industrial Waste Capacity Charge (ICC)

Since January 1, 2019, industries have a new option for paying 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 $2.18 for 2021, and $2.14 for 2020.

4. Industrial Strength Charges (charged directly to industries)

Fees for additional treatment costs caused by industrial wastewater that has more pollutants than typical residential wastewater. Industrial strength charges are based on the concentration of pollutants (as measured by Total Suspended Solids (TSS) and Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD)) and the volume of the discharge. Strength charge rates are set by the Council 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 2020 2021
Cost per excess pound of Total Suspended Solids (TSS) $0.254 $0.260
Cost per excess pound of Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD) $0.1270 $0.130

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 2020 2021
Standard Load Charge $60.24 $60.24
Holding Tank Rate $11.29 $11.29
Portable Toilet Waste Rate $77.46 $77.46
Collar County Load Charge (includes $15.00 per 1,000 gallons service fee for waste from outside the region) $75.24 $75.24

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

Industrial Users of the system must apply for a permit from MCES to discharge wastewater. Those Industrial 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.

2021 Industrial Discharge Permit Fees
Volume (MGY) >50 m. <50 m. >10 m. 5-10 m. 2-5 m. <2 m. >1 m. <1 m.
Quarterly Reporters $10,550 $8,825            
Semi-annual Reporters     $7,025 $5,300 $3,475 $1,750    
Annual Reporters & Liquid Waste Haulers             $1,750 $1,075
General Permits $100-$500              

7. Industrial Waste Temporary Capacity Charge

Assessed for temporary use of the Metropolitan System (e.g. disposal of treated contaminated groundwater). 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 2021, and $1.25 for 2020.

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

Assessed 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)

Negotiated monthly payments and daily penalties 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)

Used to recover MCES 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)

The 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 2020 and 2021 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 of average 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 2020 and 2021 direct connection application fee is $1,000.


MCES Finance, dan.schueller@metc.state.mn.us.