Sewer Use Tips

Calculating Sewer Usage Charge

For customers with water meters, sewer usage is based on a River Falls Municipal Utilities charge in direct proportion to each customer’s water usage, as measured by the customer’s water meter. So if you use 1,000 gallons of water during the billing period, you will be charged for 1,000 gallons of sewer.

This is done, as you can imagine, because it is nearly impossible to calculate the amount of sewerage discharged to the sanitary sewer system each month. In addition to the water usage charged, your utility bill also reflects a monthly sewer customer charge based on the size of your water meter. Most residential homes have a 3/4 inch water meter, costing $16.50 per month. This charge is similar to a charge seen on your cable or telephone charge as a way to help recuperate administrative, maintenance, and operational expenses necessary for providing this service.

Lowering Your Bill

If you would like to lower your bill in the future, be sure to monitor your usage. Be aware that water consumption will determine both your water and sewer charges. If you have an irrigation system or do extensive watering, you may want to consider installing a second meter to measure this usage. You would then be billed only for outside water usage that does not go to the sanitary line, such as watering lawns, gardens, washing cars, etc. View the Irrigation Meters page for more information.

Outdoor Water Conservation Tips

  • Don't water the pavement. Position sprinklers so that water lands on the lawn or garden, not in areas where it is not needed. Also avoid watering when it is windy. Wind causes water to evaporate quickly and blows water onto areas where it is not needed. Remember, if it doesn't grow, don't water it!
  • Water without waste. Interrupt watering when puddles or runoff occur. This allows the water to penetrate into the soil before resuming irrigation.
  • Keep lawn free of weeds. Weeds are water thieves and will rob your plants of water and nutrients. Spot spray or remove weeds as they appear.
  • Use a broom to clean the driveway and sidewalk. Sweeping the driveway and sidewalk will get them clean enough without wasting gallons of water.
  • Don't let the water run while washing the car. Use the bucket of soapy water on the flower bed or garden.
  • Covering a swimming pool will help reduce evaporation. An average sized pool can use about 1,000 gallons of water per month if left uncovered. A pool cover can cut the loss by up to 90%.
  • Move sprinkler heads away from curbs or sidewalks. A mulch, bark, or rock area at least 8 inches-wide adjacent to sidewalks and curbs will help eliminate water waste.