User Fees for Sanitary Sewers
Rate Increase as of January 1, 2012
Ordinance No. 542 was passed on December 14, 2011 and publicized shortly thereafter, it was not seen on bills issued by the City of DeKalb until April 1, 2012 because the bill received reflects the past quarter's water use on which sewer charges are based.
The amount the District charges to treat 748 gallons of sewage (100 cubic feet) increased from $2.66 to $2.95. The $7.50 per quarter user charge has remained the same. For an average family using 30 units (3000 cubic feet or 22,440 gallons) per quarter, the increase equals $8.70 per quarterly billing. This equates to a monthly increase of $2.90 for the average home. See more about how the average is calculated below.
Reasons for the increase are:
- Increased employee benefit costs with a double digit percentage increase in health insurance
- Increased debt service costs related to our $26 Million Biosolids and Tertiary Filter Project loans
- Lost revenue that had to be compensated for to meet operating expenses. Billed units of water were down 2% from the previous year even though the flows we treated at the plant increased because of a wet year.
- Increased gas and electric utilities costs for our new Biosolids Facility
- Decrease in investment income
We reevaluate our user rate in December of each year in a public meeting format. The minutes of the December 2011 Board of Trustees meeting at which the decision about the above rate increase was made are available for review. At that meeting, the Trustees decided to enact a rate increase much smaller than that recommended by consultants out of consideration for its users in a difficult economy.
We take rate increases seriously, and will continue to strive to improve service while keeping wastewater collection and disposal as economical as possible while meeting our environmental responsibilities.
What's an Average Quarterly Bill?
$1.46 per House per Day
The use of toilets, garbage disposals, showers, tubs, sinks and other organic waste drains for an "average" single family home are included in this estimate.
- While no family really is "average," the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that a "Typical Single Family Residence" produces 350 gallons of wastewater per day.
- At 90 days per quarter, the "normal" single-family residence produces 31,500 gallons of wastewater per quarter.
- 31.500 / 748 (There are approximately 748 gallons in a cubic foot of water, and a billing unit is 100 cubic feet.) equals 42 units per quarter
- 42 units times $2.95 per unit equals $123.90
- plus quarterly fixed-rate per account user charge of $7.50 equals $131.40
- $131.40 divided by the 90-day quarter equals $1.46 each day per "average" residence.
Note that the above calculations do not include the yearly taxes assessed by the DeKalb Sanitary District and collected by DeKalb County on behalf of the District.
How Are Bills Issued?
Bills for users in the Sanitary District are issued by the City of DeKalb on behalf of the District.
Questions about billing can be directed to the City of DeKalb Billing Department at 815 748-2085.
What are Fees Used For?
The District spends the money it collects on the equipment that speeds the biological processes of restoration enough to handle the 4.5 to 6.0 Million Gallons of wastewater users send our way each and every day (1,250 billion gallons of wastewater in a year), as well as on the chemicals that help to ensure that the discharge to the Kishwaukee River is safe and clean.
The collection system (the pipes that deliver the wastewater from your homes and businesses to our plant) must also be constantly maintained, repaired and replaced to keep used sanitary water from escaping into the ground water system.
Questions about our user charges can be directed to DeKalb Sanitary District administrators at 815 758-3513.