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Why is my water bill less than my wastewater bill?

There are several factors affecting the cost of cleaning wastewater, including energy, chemicals, and reinvestment in the collection and treatment systems. Pollutants in the wastewater must be removed to ensure the protection of public health, aquatic life and the environment before returning it to the environment.  The cleaned water must meet water quality requirements.

If the Tomahawk project is supposed to save so much money, why are rates going up?

Tomahawk is only one of several factors that causes rate increases every year. 

By increasing the size of the plant, we will no longer need to send 60 percent of our wastewater which is treated at the Tomahawk Creek facility to Kansas City, Missouri for treatment, allowing us to better control our costs and be much more efficient. Therefore,t he Tomahawk Project will significantly lessen the amount of rate increases in the future. 

How do Johnson County’s Wastewater rates compare to other rates in the metro?

JCW’s rates are among the lowest in the metro and have been consistently so for many years because we have pro-actively reinvested in our system with activities such as repair, replacement and preventative maintenance. Our collection system is a huge investment worth $1.7 billion. See how JCW compares to other wastewater utilities.

What is the rate increase in 2018?

In 2018, JCW’s revenue requirement increased by 7 percent, which equates to $2.38 a month for the median household or $4.76 on each bi-monthly bill. The revenue requirement represents the total amount of money JCW must collect from customers to pay all costs. This increase is higher than those in previous years due to several factors as well as the Tomahawk Plant expansion, which will help keep rates lower once the project is completed in 2022. We are investing now to save more over the long term. 

Why do wastewater rates go up every year?

There are several reasons for annual rate increases. They include:

Why has my wastewater bill increased so much since the early 2000s?

The increase in rates over the past two decades has climbed, but the comparison to the bill then versus now is not a clear-cut one. 

 

The capital and operating rates are now combined into a single rate because we changed our capital rate methodology to be the same as our operating rate, which is based on water use. This change means it is not possible to accurately calculate the percentage increase of rates when comparing current rates to those charged prior to 2014 without assistance from JCW staff.

What are JCW crews doing in my neighborhood?

JCW has crews cleaning, inspecting, and repairing sewer lines year round. Their presence does not necessarily mean there is an issue with the sewer in your neighborhood. If you are curious when the sewer mains in your neighborhood are due to be cleaned, please use our interactive map at  http://ims.jocogov.org/locationservices/jcwLineCleaning.aspx

How do I locate my sewer main?

Please call Kansas One Call for sewer locates before any construction or excavation in your yard to verify sewer main location at 811. Kansas One Call is the authorized utility location center for the state of Kansas.

Why am I hearing noises in my sewer or why are bubbles coming up through my fixtures or toilet?

JCW crews may be cleaning lines in your area, which can occasionally cause this to happen. We typically have nine crews cleaning more than 2.5 million feet of sewer lines each year! Crews typically operate between 7 a.m. and 3:30 p.m. Monday-Friday, but may be out afterhours as well. As long as your fixtures are draining okay there should be no cause for alarm. Keeping lids closed on toilets can help reduce any noise or water splashing out if the toilet bubbles. If you still have questions you may call us 24/7 at 913-715-8600.

What is Johnson County Wastewater’s long-range rate plan for wastewater services?

As part of its strategic planning process, Johnson County Wastewater annually reviews its operations and plans rate adjustments accordingly, based on changes in the economy and prices for utilities and chemicals used in the operations of wastewater facilities. After a thorough examination by an industry leader in utility rate analysis, Johnson County Wastewater submits the Operation and Maintenance Budget and the user charge rates to the Johnson County Board of Commissioners (BOCC), for approval.

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