The City has long outgrown the capacity of our sewer lagoons. We have been temporarily pumping excess sewage to the City of Sioux Falls since 2009. A long-term wastewater treatment solution is needed to protect our own health as well as our watersheds. The City has considered several different alternatives including a long-term agreement with the City of Sioux Falls, building our own treatment facility, as well as constructing our own regional facility to treat wastewater from surrounding communities. Each alternative requires significant infrastructure improvements as well as ongoing costs to operate. The City reviews revenues and expenses annually and has determined a rate increase is necessary to move forward with our wastewater treatment improvements.
For single family homeowners, a tiered water rate structure has been adopted. This includes increasing block rates for additional water use. These changes will primarily effect customers who irrigate their lawns and use water for recreational purposes. This change was adopted in part to encourage water conservation. Previously, single family homeowners were billed for sewer based on their monthly water use. But, not all water goes down the sewer. A general concern of the task force was that this method of billing was an unfair practice, because households were billed for water that did not enter the sewer. A winter use approach has been adopted because most water used during the winter goes down the sewer system. Homeowners will have their water usage averaged during the winter months and sewer will be billed each month based on that average us