View Full Version : sewer charges - % of water usage
02-11-2006, 12:54 PM
Am trying to setup a poll, we'll see if it works..
Basically, I'm curious what your cities bill for sewer (do they base it on 100% of your water usage or some lower percentage?). I've called my city several times over the years and they always told me it was based upon 90% of the usage, but I finally did some research and it turns out only residential is billed at 90%. Of course not all the water a coin laundry uses goes in the sewer (wouldn't need the dryers then!), and I also use evap cooling which uses a bunch of water not going into the sewer. I've sent several letters to the city government, but you know how all that goes. Doesn't the CLA have some information on this also - is the figure 90%?
For me the water bill is about 800.00 month and the sewer is 600.00 at my big store glad we do the turns to pay the high. Bills. At my home its about 50%-of the water bill but we water the yard and fill the pool so the water never reaches the sewer.
02-11-2006, 02:23 PM
At the laundromat the sewer charge is 150% of the water charge.
At my home the sewer charge is 125% of the water charge.
Price per gallon (water/sewer) is much cheaper at the laundromat than at home.
02-11-2006, 06:41 PM
Just to be clear, I'm not asking what the dollar weighting is on your billings, I'm asking if they are billing the sewage at 100% (or some other fraction) of the total water gallon usage.
02-11-2006, 08:15 PM
In case I am the one who confused you, for every $1 of water I use at the mat, it costs me an additional $1.50 in sewer charges.
For me to vote you would need to have a 150% option.
02-11-2006, 10:12 PM
Thanks for the response(s)...but it appears I am still not being clear. What I am asking is that if you use 100 gallons of water, do they bill you for sewer charges resulting from 100 gallons of sewage?
It is not the same as the dollar amount. For example, you could have the 100 gallons of billed water usage and let's say the unit of billing for water is 1/2 cent per gallon (which yields 50 cents for water portion); then the sewer charges are 100 gallons * X % * sewer billed rate (let's say it's 75 cents per gallon). If your billed X % is 100, then your sewer cost is 75 cents. You are thinking it would be 125% in that example (the dollar weighting), and that's not my question.
02-12-2006, 02:01 AM
For every gallon of water I use I am charge for 1 gallon of sewer. So I guess my vote would be 100%.
However this is irrelevant since the utility needs to recoup costs. Even if they only charged you 75% of water used for sewer, they will just need to up the cost of sewer charges to compensate.
The majority of sewage treatment costs are the infrastructure itself and not the actual cost of treating the sewage. So if the utility decides to reduce the percentage that is billed for sewage (from 90% to 80% of water consumed) they would just raise their sewage costs by 10% or so to compensate.
It costs me $0.0022 for one gallon of water and $0.0033 for sewer. That is a total cost of $.0055 per gallon or about ten cents to run a load of laundry through a Neptune washer (figuring 18 gallons of water).
02-12-2006, 12:15 PM
I'm soooo jealous, Duane.
I'm at .00675/gallon sewer and .0054/gallon water. Plus, they just announced an increase in water rates over 20%.
02-12-2006, 04:22 PM
You are a big whiner! Sit down and I'll give you my water and sewer rates. Water $0.00304 per gallon! Sewer, this is not a slipped decimal point $0.0137 per Gallon. No stop whining, or trade with me.
02-12-2006, 05:39 PM
why does it matter?
you end up paying a multiplier of the water meter usage anyhow. Are you trying to convince the water board that you make less sewage than they estimate from your water meter?
02-12-2006, 07:24 PM
I tried to approach the town about this years ago, with CLA supplied facts. I think it was around 4% "went thru the dryers" water and not down the drain. Still, I get billed 10%
02-13-2006, 12:09 AM
Yup, that's why it matters to me, just trying to save some bucks. I've got some free time so I figure I'll fight the good fight and see what happens (they give homeowners the break and I don't see how my usage is much different).
02-15-2006, 09:27 PM
Where's the box for 200%. My sewer charges are twice as much as for the water.
02-17-2006, 01:55 AM
At the risk of repeating myself - read the headline of the poll or my previous several clarification related responses. The poll is not intended to register the dollar weighting, but the percentage of sewer usage assumed for a given water usage amount (since sewer usage is non-metered they must make an assumption for it...therefore it will never be more than 100%).
Almost every laundry has sewer dollar amount charges more than the water.
I also don't believe the arguement that they are recouping fees either since in my town there are about 300,000 homes where they charge 90% of water usage for sewer, and perhaps 30 laundries where they charge 100%. To my mind it's obvious they are soaking (water joke) the little guy and I'm going to raise a stink. They told me for 2 years I was only being charged 90%...it wasn't until I investigated and pulled the pricing sheets myself that I determined it was 100% for laundries in this city.
02-17-2006, 11:31 AM
in ny i pay 159% for sewage on top of the water charge
If i pay 1.00 for water i pay 159% for sewage.
so my price for water and sewer would be 2.59.
Where are you located???????
02-17-2006, 12:12 PM
They may being doing this because they assume for a homeowner that their is actually a fair amount of water which might not go down the drain. This would include water used to water the lawn, wash the car, fill the swimming pool, and EVEN dry clothing, etc...
The amount of water in a laundromat that really goes up the stack from the dryers is really very small, probably only about 2% or so of total useage, if that. Think about it for a momement. If an 18# washer uses 2gallons of water per pound that is 36 gallons of water. How much of that water do you really think is left in the clothing when you take it out of the washer. You could weigh the clothing wet and then dry, the difference being the water. There are 8.34 pound to the gallon, so just devide the wieght loss by that to come up with how many gallons the dryer remove. Let us know what you come up with, I bet it is a very small number.
02-18-2006, 08:56 AM
Here's the update:
Yesterday I received a call from the "special assistant to the mayor" (seemed like an episode from the TV show "Spin City"?...) and she said the mayor and all the city councilmembers received my email of last month and it is something they will address when they have their next rate setting meeting. She said that input like this was needed and that the current rates were set upon the recommendation of some industry consultant who had recommended 90% for homes, 95% for some other industries and 100% for our industry.
I agree that the amount of water evaporated in the dryers is probably not a huge amount. I think my evap coolers use close to 100,000 gallons per year though. If I could get the 95% weighting I'd be happy. That would only come out to about $400 or so savings per year, but it's better than nothing.
I also talked with the "special assistant" about the water savings with the high efficiency front load washers (Neptunes, etc.). We don't have any rebate programs here like they do in California, and it aggravates me when they talk in the media about the need to conserve water (but then don't back it up with any business incentives). I told her my water bill dropped by over 300,000 gallons per year when I switched out some toploaders and that I would be happy to share actual water consumption data with the water conservation board.
02-18-2006, 09:33 AM
Has anyone looked into Water Reclamaition systems for their laundromat? I've been reading up on a few companies that installed their products in hotels, and mats, and they claim atleast 65% reusable water from your washers. You can also qualify for government grants to help on the purchase of one of these systems for it's ecologically safe, and efficient affect on environment. If the ROI shows you can pay it off in 2-3 years, then after being paid off, that means all the money you save on your water bill goes right to your bottom line!! Now, I'd rather shell out the cash to install one of these systems before buying new washers/dryers! Anyone have experience with a water reclamation system in their mat? Emerson Higdon also talks at length about this in his book, "Coin Laundries-Road to Wealth Creation".
02-18-2006, 12:49 PM
Two major problems with this system in a self serve laundromat.
1) You can't control what customers put in the laundry. If a customer overloads bleach, it could be recycled. If a customer tries to dye a load, the dye could be recycled, in a diluted amount, but still there.
2) When customers find out that you "Reuse" water, they will go else where. No matter how clean it is, it is just the concept that will turn customers away.
Of my utility costs, the water and sewer are the least expensive. Spending your money on better more efficient washers and dryers along with good insulation and efficient lighting will be your best bet.
I would go with a solar system for electric or water heating before recycling water.