|Universal Sewer Surcharge Program
|On May 1, 2009, Water Services began instituting a universal surcharge for commercial and industrial customers who produce extra strength wastewater (high concentration discharges). This is a shift from the department’s previous process of surcharging only those customers whose discharges could be sampled. A universal surcharge will distribute these costs in a more equitable manner, to all customers who are categorized as producers of high concentration discharges.The creation of a universal surcharge for Kansas City, Mo. was included in the recommendations produced by the Mayor’s Utility Funding Task Force, which convened in the spring of 2008 to make recommendations about how to equitably and sustainably fund our water, sewer and stormwater utilities. What is extra strength wastewater?Extra strength wastewater is high concentration discharges of BOD (biochemical oxygen demand), SS (suspended solids) and/or O&G (oil and grease) in excess of the maximum concentration of these components in normal wastewater, as defined in KCMO ordinances Chapter 60 Article IV. High concentrations of BOD, SS, and O&G are commonly found in food producing establishments. The maximum concentrations for these discharges are as follows:BOD: 250 mg/LSS: 250 mg/LO&G: 30 mg/LConcentrations higher than these limits increase the cost to treat wastewater and maintain the wastewater transmission system. The Universal Surcharge will be used to cover those costs.How is the surcharge calculated?Customers are charged per pound of BOD, SS, and O&G over the statutory limits. The current rates are as follows:Surcharge per pound of excess BOD: $0.259Surcharge per pound of excess SS: $0.158Surcharge per pound of excess O&G: $0.114How will the surcharge be determined for individual accounts?Water Services has identified commercial accounts eligible for the surcharge using WSD records, site inspections, Health Department permits and other city records. Each account is assigned to a classification with established strengths for BOD, SS and OG. These strengths were determined based on local and national averages for that type of business.
View the rate category table.
To use this table, first determine whether the customer is a stand alone facility or a tenant in a larger facility. Then determine which classification of facility applies to the customer. Total surcharges can be found in the last column of the table, under “Total/ccf”. To calculate your monthly surcharge, take the surcharge amount and multiply by your total water usage for the month.Why are commercial developments and stand alone facilities treated differently?In all cases, the surcharge is billed to the property owner. So, in the case of facilities located in strip malls or other developments such as hotels, the surcharge will go to the commercial property owner or whoever is currently receiving the utility bill. Because commercial developments have wastewater flowing from other, non-surcharge tenants, their surcharge amount is a weighted average that takes into account the mix of high concentration and low concentration discharge. Because their high concentration discharge is diluted by the low concentration discharge, it is also less costly to treat.By comparison, a stand alone facility discharges 100 percent of its own flow, which is anticipated to have relatively high concentrations.What if I think that my account belongs in a different category?Any surcharge customer can appeal their assigned classification. All appeals must be in writing and sent to:Water Services DepartmentUniversal Surcharge Program 4800 E. 63rd StreetKansas City, MO 64130All appeals will be reviewed and the findings will be mailed to the surcharge customer requesting the appeal within 30 days of receiving the appeal. If there is a change in classification, the change will apply to all future bills.What if I think that my discharge concentrations are lower than the strengths assigned to my classification?Any customer may request that their wastewater discharge be sampled, assuming that they have a single discharge point from their facility and a sampling port or manhole available. Customers are responsible for the cost of sampling, which is approximately $672 and is good for two years.If the sampling shows lower levels of BOD, SS, and/or OG than the strengths established by the universal surcharge, the customer will be charged based on these lower levels. If the sampling shows higher levels or a customer decides in the future not to request sampling, the customer will receive the universal surcharge for their classification.Other questions regarding the Universal Sewer Surcharge:Call 3-1-1 or 816-513-1313 or email 3-1-1.Action.Center@kcmo.org.