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Water/sewer customers can cut costs through Wastewater Retainage Credit Program

2/17/2017, 6 a.m.

Residential and commercial customers can save money on their sewer service through a new initiative adopted by DeKalb County government.

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Michael Thurmond

DeKalb CEO Michael Thurmond said the Wastewater Retainage Credit Program can cut costs for consumers.

“This innovative program ensures our commercial customers can keep their costs down in a competitive global economy, while also providing equity for residential customers who are using water but not allowing it to flow into the drainage system,” Thurmond said in a Feb. 10 statement.

The program allows for an adjustment in the wastewater-related charges for industrial, commercial and residential users who routinely discharge significantly less wastewater into the sewer system compared to the water consumed. Currently, sewer consumption charges are applied at the same volume as water consumption charges.

For customers who use more than 40,000 gallons per bimonthly billing cycle, the standard rate for water service is $4.63 per 1,000 gallons and sewer service is $11.34 per 1,000 gallons, or $15.99 per 1,000 gallons combined. The applicable irrigation rate is $8.08, or nearly a 50 percent savings.

To qualify, industrial and commercial customers must choose one of two approaches.

One method is to install a meter on any water lines feeding any consumptive use, such as water for a boiler or for the manufacturing of a product. The other option is to use a wastewater meter to measure all combined wastewater discharged to DeKalb’s sanitary sewer system.

Both methods allow the Department of Watershed Management to accurately record the volume of consumed water and exempt that amount from standard sewer charges.

Residential customers who use water to fill private, residential swimming pools or to hand-water a private garden also are eligible if they are located more than 1,000 feet from a fire hydrant and have a smart meter connected to the county’s advanced metering infrastructure, which records water use on an ongoing basis rather than once per 60-day cycle.

In the case of a pool, one adjustment can be made per year based upon the documented volume of water required to fill the pool. For hand-watering a garden, such an adjustment will be based on the documented volume of water required to hand-water the garden and shall be capped at 100 gallons per adjustment.

For more information, visit www.dekalbwatershed.com or call 770-621-7258.