SD1 Moving to Base-Rate Billing Beginning in July

05/29/2019 -

FORT WRIGHT, Ky. – Sanitation District No. 1 will change its residential sanitary billing to include a base rate beginning in July. The effect on customer bills will be dependent on individual water usage.

Historically, SD1’s residential sanitary sewer rates have been based entirely on water consumption. However, much of the cost associated with operating the utility are fixed, meaning that certain costs have to be met before any customer uses a drop of water.

“We have more than 1,600 miles of sanitary sewer pipe in Northern Kentucky, 120 pump stations and three major treatment plants,” said SD1 Executive Director Adam Chaney. “All of this infrastructure has to be maintained and operational whether you flush your toilet once or one hundred times a day. These fixed costs need to be shared equally across our customer base with a reduced reliance on the variable nature of water usage.”

Starting in July, every residential customer will be charged a fixed operating fee of $16 per month, which will include 2 hundred cubic feet (HCF) of water treatment, and a fixed sanitary sewer overflow mitigation fee of $5 per month. These fees are based on SD1’s fixed operating expenses, and will comprise the base rate of $21 per month. The changes will appear on customers’ August bills.

To offset the impact of the base rate, the variable rate for water consumption beyond the minimum 2 HCF will be reduced from $8.11 to $7.25. SD1 will gradually increase its base rate and continue to decrease its variable rate over the next four years.

SD1 is also partnering with the Brighton Center to develop a Customer Assistance Program to help cover the incremental increase that will result from the shift to a base-rate structure for qualifying low-income and fixed-income customers.

“We understand that even a small increase can have a dramatic impact on some of our customers,” Chaney said, “so we are working with the Brighton Center to ease the impact.”

The $5 sanitary sewer overflow mitigation fee will fund SD1’s federal requirements under an amended Clean Water Act Consent Decree to mitigate Northern Kentucky’s sanitary sewer overflows and combined sewer overflows by the year 2040.

“We’re committed to keeping rates affordable for all,” Chaney said. “We’ve spent the last two years renegotiating the end date for our consent decree and reducing costs in all aspects of our work. Adjusting our rates to more closely align with the the actual cost of providing service is another important part of that commitment.”

The SD1 Board of Directors unanimously approved the base-rate structure in April and on May 21 unanimously approved the SD1 rates and budget. The base-rate structure was approved by the fiscal courts earlier this month, and today the Boone, Campbell and Kenton county judges executive gave the final approval on the Fiscal Year 2020 SD1 budget and rate schedule.

About SD1

SD1 is responsible for the collection and treatment of northern Kentucky’s wastewater and also serves as the regional storm water management agency. SD1 is the second largest public sewer utility in Kentucky, serving more than 290,000 residents throughout Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties.

SD1 maintains approximately 1,600 miles of sanitary-sewer system pipeline, 135 wastewater pumping stations, 15 flood pump stations, six package treatment plants, three major wastewater treatment plants, 416 miles of storm-sewer system and 31,106 storm-sewer structures.

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