This page contains general information regarding the necessary steps that RWRA is taking to provide service to unsewered areas, the costs involved, and other related information.
While RWRA cannot address every issue related to sewer service in one document, we offer the following as a guide to better understand the process.
RWRA uses a variety of methods to determine whether or not they are going to proceed with the construction of wastewater facilities in an area. Those methods include, but are not limited to, the following:
- Submission of a petition from the neighborhood desiring service. Areas that have 75% or more of the property owners in favor of service receive priority consideration.
- Available funds including Grant funds (i.e., “Community Development Block Grants”, etc.).
- Existing and/or potential environmental issues.
- Proximity to existing RWRA service.
- Cost to provide service.
- Long-term planning for service to expanded areas.
Water providers such as OMU, Daviess County Water District, and East Daviess County Water Association also bill for RWRA sewer service; therefore, your monthly water bill will include applicable RWRA sewer service costs and fees.
An “Equivalent Residential Unit” (ERU) is based on an estimated water use by a single-family residential property.
Customer Service Charge
The Customer Service Charge is based on the size of the meter providing service, with the 1” meter considered as the base. All RWRA customers with a 1” meter or smaller shall pay a Customer Service Charge of $18.45 per month. Customers with a meter larger than 1” shall pay based on the comparison of the square of the meter size to a typical 1” meter, with any meters larger than 6” being billed at the rate for a 6” meter.
Wastewater User Charge
All RWRA customers shall pay a Wastewater User Charge of $4.39 per 1,000 gallons of usage or $3.284 per 100 cubic feet of usage.
Environmental Improvement Fee
All RWRA customers will be charged an Environmental Improvement Fee to cover costs for local water quality improvements/projects. This fee is $9.95 per meter. Non-residential customers that have a monthly use above 15,000 gallons (2,005 cubic feet) will be charged an additional $.63 per 1,000 gallons ($0.471 per 100 cubic feet) above the 15,000 gallons (2,005 cubic feet) of usage.
“System Development” relates to the costs to provide sewer service to a general area, such as Highway 54, Highway 60 East, Highway 60 West, Sorgho, Thruston, etc. RWRA constructed major interceptors, lift stations, force mains, etc., to the mentioned areas, as well as others, and System Development Fees are levied on all properties that receive service – directly or indirectly – through System Development constructed facilities. The Current System Development fee is $2,178.00 per ERU; and each qualified existing user may finance this amount at 4.5% for $13.78 per month, amortized for twenty (20) years.
The System Development monthly payment of $13.78 per ERU is included in each monthly billing. The System Development Fee balance can be paid in full at any time by property owners.
“Capacity” relates to the cost to provide the necessary capacity in the upgraded, existing system (i.e., treatment plants, lift stations, sewer pipes, etc.). Capacity fees are designed to fund any improvements to the collection system and treatment plants that increases their capacity. The Capacity Fee is based on the size of the meter providing service, with the 1” meter being considered as the base. All RWRA customers with a 1” water meter or smaller shall pay a Capacity Fee of $.53 per month. Those with a meter larger than 1” shall pay based on the comparison of the square of the meter size to a typical 1” meter, with any meters larger than 6” being billed at the rate for a 6” meter.
When RWRA constructs wastewater facilities (i.e., sewers, etc.) in a specifically defined area/subdivision, all costs related to the construction of the associated facilities are divided equally among the existing and anticipated “Equivalent Residential Units” (ERUs) within the area. Costs to provide service include legal fees for property and/or easement acquisition, engineering costs, connection fees, construction costs, and other-related project costs.
When RWRA discusses area sewers in a neighborhood meeting, prior to construction, RWRA does not specifically know the exact cost to provide service to the neighborhood, until the project is complete. All costs given are estimates only!
When the project is complete, each property owner will be notified by RWRA through a public notification in the newspaper, as well as by letter. The letter will contain the ERU costs for the project area, and will also state the time frame allowed for mandated connection. The notification letter states the date that associated “Apportionment Warrants” (property liens) will be placed on the property deed, unless payment in full of the Assessment amount is paid to RWRA prior to that date. All properties will have one year from the specified date to connect to RWRA’s system.
Anticipated ERUs include vacant lots, undeveloped property, property that could be further subdivided into lots within the assessment zone, etc. Apportionment Warrants will remain, and are transferable to future property owners, for those undeveloped properties/lots until such time as development requiring wastewater facilities occur. When such undeveloped properties are later developed, payment of the System Development and Assessment costs are required at the time of Connection Permit issuance by RWRA.
Liens will be released from fully-developed property, once payment in full has been made to RWRA.
“Connection” relates to the Connection Permit and associated cost for the property/facility to connect to the RWRA system. Connection Permit fees are designed to recover the costs related to the engineering portion of the project review, inspection, tap location, record retention, etc. Connection for the purpose of line extension refers to new construction and extension to existing facilities in new service areas. This cost varies from $300 per ERU for residential to $1,000 for commercial. A Connection Permit must be received from RWRA prior to connection to the RWRA system.
It is the responsibility of the property owner to secure a licensed plumber to install the lateral connection from the house to the tap that is extended to each specific property. The licensed plumber must apply for a Connection Permit from RWRA prior to the installation of the lateral connection. All costs related to the installation shall be the responsibility of the property owner.
Once RWRA service becomes available to an area, then connection to the RWRA system is mandated, and each property owner shall be subject to all applicable RWRA assessment, fees, and/or charges. Failure to connect to the public system, within the designated time frame, may lead to enforcement action.