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Your quarterly water bill pays for the City’s cost of transporting and treating wastewater from your home or business. The wastewater is moved through a series of pipes and lift stations on its way to the Metropolitan Council’s wastewater treatment facility. The Metropolitan Council charges the city based on the volume of wastewater it treats on our behalf. The sewer system is paid for entirely with utility fees – it receives no taxpayer support.
To generate sufficient funds for the sewer system, Fridley adopted new rates for 2018. The single biggest sewer expense is the discharge fees we pay to the Metropolitan Council. As they increase their fees to pay for maintenance and expansion of the treatment plant, we must increase our fees. In addition, the city needs to reconstruct our sewer collection system, reline our sewer pipes and replace a jet truck used to maintain our sewer lines.
Residential customers are billed for sewer based on the amount of water used in the winter months. In this way, you do not pay sewer charges on water you use outdoors for washing the car or watering the grass. Every residential customer will pay a sanitary sewer base fee of $50 which includes up to 8,000 gallons of water usage. Any usage over the 8,000 gallons will be charged at a fee of $5.70/1,000 gallons. Commercial customers are billed based on their water usage year-round.
For both water and sewer, most of the costs are fixed. That means that the city has to pay the same amount for pipes, lift stations, and billing regardless of the amount of water you use each quarter. In fact, 80% of our fixed cost comes from Metropolitan Council Environmental Services whom we pay in order for their plant to treat our wastewater. Therefore, our City has a fixed, or minimum, fee to reflect its fixed costs.
All communities in the Twin Cities enjoy relatively low sewer rates compared to other communities across the state and the country. Fridley’s rates are comparable to other Twin Cities communities.