The City of Camrose sanitary sewer system services virtually every property in Camrose. A system of pipes removes sanitary wastewater from buildings and transports it to the Camrose Wastewater Treatment Facility on the south boundary of Camrose.
The sanitary sewer system is funded entirely by utility fees. No tax revenue is used to operate the facility.
Sanitary Sewer Basic Charge
The sanitary sewer basic charge is a set monthly fee which covers fixed costs such as the cost of providing a pipe and connection to your property and the cost of the sewer main in the street. These facilities are necessary and the costs are the same whether a customer discharges one cubic metre or one hundred cubic metres per month into the system.
Because there is no practical way of directly measuring the amount of sewage you discharge into the system, the sewer usage rate is based on the amount of water you use. While it is true that some of the water you use is not discharged into the sanitary sewer, water consumption is a good general indicator of the relative amount of sewage discharged. Some cities base sewer rates on a percentage of water use and some even vary the percentage winter to summer. This complicates the billing system and is not any more fair than the system used in Camrose, because in the end, the rates must be sufficient to cover the system operating costs. If our rates were based on 80% of water consumption rather than 100%, then the rates would have to be higher to collect the same revenue. In either system, if you water your lawn, you are going to be charged a little more.
In Camrose, most homes constructed between 1950 and 1994 have weeping tiles that collect water from around the foundation and discharge it into the sanitary sewer. The flow from these weeping tile connections can be significant. Therefore, homes with weeping tiles connected to the sewer are charged a higher rate than homes without.