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Phone: 913-715-8500

11811 S. Sunset Drive, Suite 2500, Olathe, Kansas 66061

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wastewater department

Johnson County Wastewater is responsible for the safe collection, transportation, and treatment of wastewater generated by residential, industrial, and commercial customers. Johnson County Wastewater works to eliminate disease-causing bacteria and to protect the environment for human and aquatic life. Johnson County Wastewater's role is to ensure that our streams, rivers and lakes are free from disease-causing bacteria and viruses that are harmful to the public health.

Department News

The Top 10 Things to Keep Out of the Sewers
May 19, 2014
  1. Prescription and over-the-counter pharmaceuticals
  2. Hair
  3. Rags and towels
  4. Baby wipes and diapers
  5. Disposable toilet brushes
  6. Syringes
  7. Personal care products
  8. Grease
  9. Aquarium gravel and kitty litter
  10. Cotton swabs

You plug it, you pay for it

Not only do these items, and a host of others, create sewer backups and overflows, they also cause backups in the public sewer pipes and at the local wastewater treatment plant. The related costs are then passed on to rate payers. Disposable doesn’t mean flushable, and even if it reads flushable, you are still safer and more environmentally correct to place it in the trashcan. It’s also a waste of water to flush or send down the drain those things which don’t belong there.

And there’s more …

Whatever ends up in the sewer can potentially impact the water environment. Remember, cleaner water and a healthier environment begins with you and how you choose to dispose of pharmaceuticals, household hazardous wastes, fats, oils, and grease, and trash. Controlling what goes through the sewer pipes is the easiest and most effective way to protect the environment and you can start today.

In the national spotlight …

Wipes in the pipes is not only a problem for Johnson County Wastewater plant operators, but it has become such a far-reaching and expensive problem, that NBC produced the following news story on the topic.


Sources: www.nbcwashington.com and the Water Environment Federation

A Reminder to Our Customers: Be Aware and Be Safe.
March 5, 2014

Always ask for proper identification before allowing someone inside your home to do any kind of repair or utility work. Residents should look for company identification, uniforms bearing the company name and work vehicles with company logos and markings. The Johnson County Wastewater logo is on all employee ID cards, uniforms, and vehicles. Contact the utility company in question before allowing an individual into your home. Confirmation for JCW employees can be made by calling Customer Service at 913-715-8590.

Something else you should be keenly aware of are the phone scammers. This is a warning message that the Board of Public Utilities recently released.

If you feel your safety is threatened, or you are doubtful, don’t guess; call 9-1-1.

Commercial Customers May Save Money in Voluntary Program
March 5, 2014

Johnson County Wastewater's commercial customers may participate in a voluntary program to obtain credit for water which does not enter the department's collection system. In order to receive credit, Johnson County Wastewater requires that this water be continuously metered via a deduct meter. A deduct water meter measures the amount of water not discharging into the sanitary sewer system. This would include water used for lawn sprinkler systems or cooling towers. Here is additional information about the Sewer Use Credit Program.

Changes to JCW Sewer Connection Fee
February 27, 2014

Effective Jan 1, 2014, sewer connection fees are no longer based on Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDUs) calculated by square footage and business activity type. Instead, the fees are based on the water meter size for each building or space as issued by the water utility (e.g. WaterOne, City of Olathe, BPU, et al).

Why the change? This change in methodology was approved on March 15, 2012, by the Johnson County Board of Commissioners and makes Johnson County Wastewater's policy consistent with industry best practices and standards.

How does this change affect me? The policy affects information required for residential permit issuance and the order of submissions during the commercial permit application process. In addition for commercial permit projects, the modified use fee portion of permits associated with tenant finish or building addition projects no longer apply.

The Johnson County Wastewater connection fee schedule does apply and customers are required to obtain a sewer connection permit for all new water meters or when a water meter size increases. Fees are due to Johnson County Wastewater at the time the meter or meter size change permit is issued by the water utility. Fees for meter size increases will be calculated as the difference in fee between the existing meter and the new meter. The $200 Johnson County Wastewater permit fee, the $400 commercial review fee, additional special inspection fees, and/or grease permit fees remain for permits, as applicable.

Connection Fees: The 2014 connection fee schedule by meter size is as follows. This schedule does not include the $200 permit fee, special inspection fees, or grease permit fees.

Please see the Residential and Commercial permitting pages for additional permitting information.

Billing Change for JCW Customers in 2014
March 24, 2014

In January 2014, Johnson County Wastewater completed a multi-year conversion of its billing method to a unified rate model. This means that the current wastewater bills look similar to other utility bills such as water, gas, and electric and is now in line with industry best practices. The current Johnson County Wastewater charge reflects both the costs to operate its system and to invest/reinvest in the capital improvements necessary to operate the system. 

In 2013, the capital cost was a uniform rate; all single family residences were charged the same capital amount, regardless of the impact they had on the system.  This charge appeared as Capital Charge (EDU) on the bimonthly bill and was $24.76 bimonthly. Prior to 2013, this charge appeared as a line item titled WASTEWTR CAP on the real estate tax statement. 

Under the unified rate model, both operation and capital charges are based on a fixed Service Charge to provide customer service, and a variable Volume Charge based on the volume of water used and discharged to the sanitary sewer system for treatment.

In 2014, Johnson County Wastewater implemented an overall revenue requirement (expenses) increase of 6.5 percent. The amount customers are billed varies from one customer to the next as it is based on their Average Winter Water Usage (AWWU). Those who have a greater impact on the sanitary sewer system will now pay more than those who contribute less. The following table demonstrates how the components of the wastewater bill changed from 2013 to 2014:

2013 Charges:

  • Service Charge (SC):
    • Operations portion of SC = $5.40
    • Capital portion of SC = $0.00
  • Volume Charge:
    • Operations portion of vol. charge = $2.67/1,000 gallons ($0.00267 per gal.)
    • Capital portion of vol. charge = $0.00
  • Capital Charge:
    • EDU fixed capital charge = $148  ($24.67 per bi-monthly bill)   

2014 Charges:

  • Service Charge (SC):
    • O&M portion of SC = $6.33
    • Capital portion of SC= $5.73
  • Volume Charge:
    • O&M portion of vol. charge = $3.27/1,000 gallons ($0.00327 per gal.)
    • Capital portion of vol. charge = $2.24/1,000 gallons ($0.00224 per gal.)

(Please note that Johnson County does not provide tax advice to its customers regarding the deductibility or non-deductibility of its utility charges for federal or state income tax purposes, and advises customers to consult their CPA or other tax professional regarding proper treatment of such charges.)