What is winter averaging?
You may be wondering what a winter average is, and how it affects you. A winter average is the average number of gallons used per household, taken from December 1 to March 31 (the highest month is not used to determine your average). That average is then used to establish the rates that will determine how much each household will be charged for sewer and sewer surcharge. Remember that new averages are recalculated May 1 of every year. What is sewer and sewer surcharge? Are they on everybody's bill?
The sewer charge represents the amount of money that is required to clean and recycle the water being used. The sewer surcharge is a temporary charge "designed to recover the projected increased debt service and operating costs for the EPA-mandated improvement project not otherwise covered by other revenues". Both of these charges are based upon the winter average and are a part of every citizen's bill. In addition to being based on percentage, these charges are further divided into two categories: residential and commercial
Residential accounts will be charged for sewer using the following method:
• The first 2,000 gallons will have a minimum charge of $8.30. This represents the base charge to any residential account within city limits.
• Any additional usage exceeding 2,000 gallons will be charged $3.95 per 1,000 gallons used.
• Example: A customer has the following usage from December 1 to March 31:
The City of Palestine Water Department would then take the average of 5.00 (this does not include the consumption for the month of March) and apply it to the formula: $8.30 would be charged for the first 2,000 gallons. 3,000 gallons would be left over. $11.85 would be charged for the remaining usage. The total sewer charge would come to $20.15 per month.
Commercial accounts are figured similarly, though there are some differences: Commercial accounts pay for usage based on monthly consumption.
• The first 2,000 gallons will have a minimum charge of $33.00. This represents the base charge to any commercial account within city limits.
• Any additional usage exceeding 2,000 gallons will be charged $4.00 per 1,000 gallons used.
Residential accounts will be charged for sewer surcharge using the following method:
CONSERVE WATERYou may be wondering what you can do you lessen these charges. The answer is simple! Try to keep your water usage low. The first step to lowering your water usage is to be aware of how much water you are using. Practicing water conservation during these winter months will not only serve to provide you with a more manageable water bill, but also benefit our environment. Here are some tips to help you reduce your water usage: