Wastewater Surcharge Program
Per Colorado State Statute, public wastewater systems (POTW) are built and designed for domestic use. Wastewater is “normal strength” if it meets the wastewater quality standards established for typical residential wastewater. Often, the wastewater discharged from businesses contain solids and organic matter at higher concentrations in comparison to concentrations found in residential wastewater.
Wastewater surcharges will begin to be charged to businesses that discharge wastewater exceeding normal wastewater standards. Business wastewater can be more heavily concentrated with solids and organic matter than residential wastewater, making it more expensive to treat. Much of the cost associated with treating wastewater is related to the amount of solids that must be removed and the amount of oxygen that is required to stabilize and digest organic matter in the wastewater.
The Surcharge Program enables the Town to recover the extra costs associated with the treatment of extra strength wastewater. These surcharges are based on three categories of extra strength discharge for Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS). These categories (low, medium and high) and related to the business type for the basis of the surcharges.
Sewer surcharge provisions were created to achieve equity between treatment costs and charges for all users. Factors such as strength (BOD and TSS), volume and delivery flow rate were considered. All customers subject to a surcharge are being notified by letter, and the monthly surcharge fees will begin to be applied to the customer’s monthly utility bill in May 2019.
If a commercial customer believes their high strength waste has a BOD lower than what is listed for their category, they can, at their own expense, install the required facilities to allow for testing of their waste and pay for the town to hire a firm to come out and test. Testing will be done at random and must be done at least three times per year. The town will then use the results of the test to calculate the high strength waste surcharge.