City of Camanche OKs excess water use policy

CAMANCHE — The city of Camanche has a new policy for excess water and sewer use.

The Camanche City Council on Tuesday voted 5-0 to approve a resolution amending the water and sewer excess use policy. The resolution approved by the City Council states a resident who experiences high sewer usage due to excess water use may apply for an adjustment to the sewer portion of the bill provided several conditions are met.

The amount of sewer used must exceed three times the average amount used for the preceding four billing periods. The resolution states that if four previous billings are not available the city will calculate an average billing based upon 75 gallons per person per day. The excessive usage must have been caused by an identifiable problem, such as a broken pipe or external usage that would verify the water used did not travel to the sanitary sewer system or floor drains. The resident must provide evidence that repairs have been made to correct the problem. The city will only provide an adjustment under this policy once in a two-year period.

The resolution states that for the adjustment, the city will subtract the calculated average from the usage for the current quarter, the overage. The city will adjust the bill to include the calculated average usage and 25 percent of the overage. Seventy-five percent of the overage will be waived.

“This adjustment will be made to the sewer portion of the bill,” the resolution states. “There is no adjustment for the water portion of the bill. All metered water usage will be charged.”

Residents requiring an adjustment under this policy must make an application to the city clerk’s office. An adjustment made under the policy will be calculated by the utility billing clerk. It will be approved by the city administrator. The utility billing clerk will keep a log of adjustments made under the policy.

Camanche City Administrator Andrew Kida approached the City Council at last month’s meeting about excess water bills being forgiven for issues such as leaky toilets. He said in researching other cities, none of them forgave water bills for excess water usage. He said the city recently forgave a substantial bill because someone had a running toilet in their basement and was not aware it was running.

“Because we’re paying to pump the water out of the ground, we’re paying to treat the water, we’re paying folks to sample the water, we no longer feel it would behoove the city to relieve those bills,” Camanche Mayor Trevor Willis said. “So it’s going to cause, I’m sure there’s going to cause some concern. But we need the folks to monitor their water a little bit closer, I guess, would be the thing. And the biggest culprit every time is a leaking toilet. So if you have a toilet in the basement go down and check it every day or every other day. Make sure.”