Wastewater Winter Averaging

Winter averaging is a practice by which water use during the winter months is used to determine maximum sewer charges for the upcoming year.  LCMUA bases winter average on the average water consumption during November, December, January, and February.  The month with the highest volume is dropped and the remaining months are averaged.  New customers are billed volume based on their actual water consumption (not to exceed 7,000 gallons of wastewater) until they establish an average of their own.  

The Q and A's below are provided to help answer frequently asked questions.

Why does LCMUA use winter for averaging?

Your water meter measures your monthly water use, but there is no meter on your wastewater line.  Wastewater averaging provides a measure that is generally reflective of the amount of water that goes directly into the sanitary sewer system from your property.  Outdoor watering (such as irrigation, car washing and recreational use) does not go directly into the sanitary sewer system so it is important to isolate it and not include that wastewater on your invoice.  Usually outdoor watering is minimal during the winter months; therefore, it is easier to estimate the actual amount of water that goes directly into the sanitary sewer system versus being used for outdoor watering during the winter months.  

How is winter averaging calculated? 

Consumption information is calculated during the four winter billing periods (November thru February) to arrive at the winter average (dropping the highest month and averaging the three months remaining).  For example:

Typical Residential Water Usage

November 12,000  (highest volume is dropped)
December 8,000
January 5,500
February 4,500
Total 18,000
18,000 divided by 3 = 6,000 gallons

The wastewater winter average consumption would be 6,000 gallons for the upcoming year beginning with the April invoice.
Money down drain
When is the winter averaging rate effective?

The winter averaging rate is effective on the April invoice of each year.

What can I do to reduce my sewer charges?

Reducing overall water use during the winter averaging period is essential in cutting your sewer charges for the coming year.  This reduction can be accomplished by fixing all leaks as soon as possible (toilets, service lines, irrigation systems).  Here are other ways to reduce use of water:
- Turn off irrigation systems or reduce use during winter averaging.
- Consider replacing old toilets with new, water-efficient models.
- Replace old shower heads and faucet aerators with new, efficient models.
- Use only the water that is needed when washing hands, dishes or brushing teeth.
- Do not drain and fill swimming pools during winter averaging, if possible.