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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?

A chart that compares Johnson County Wastewater rates (calculated semi-monthly) at $86.46 with the national average of $93.84 and other KC metro cities. Lee’s Summit: $75.94, Olathe: $89.54, Gardner: $97.42 and Kansas City, Missouri: $142.22. See how JCW compares to other wastewater utilities.

What is the rate increase in 2021?

In 2021, JCW’s revenue requirement increased by 5.75 percent, which equates to $2.35 a month for the median household or $4.70 on each bi-monthly bill. The revenue requirement represents the total amount of money JCW must collect from customers to pay all costs.  

A large increase in your average winter water use (AWWU) will impact wastewater charges more than rate increases.  See questions above that provide information concerning the AWWU.

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.

I leave my home for the winter. Must I pay a wastewater bill?

Yes. However, if you are out of town during the winter months you may be eligible for an adjustment. Please contact Johnson County Wastewater. Your account will be reviewed and any appropriate adjustments will be made. The minimum user charge for months you are gone is an amount that is at least equal to the Customer Service Charge. For months that you actually reside in your home, you will be charged the default value user charge. The default is based on the average residential winter water use for all residential customers.

I just moved into a new house. How will my “average winter water use” be determined?

New customers moving from outside Johnson County Wastewater’s service area will be assigned a default value user charge that is equal to the average winter water use for all residential customers. If new customers provide Johnson County Wastewater with their previous account information, Johnson County Wastewater will calculate an appropriate average winter water use using the information provided. Johnson County Wastewater customers who move within the sanitary sewer district may request to transfer the average winter water use from their previous address.


What if I have a swimming pool, will I have to pay for filling my pool?

Winter water usage is used in the wastewater bill calculation to avoid charging for usual heavier summer uses such as watering your lawn and garden, washing your car, or filling your swimming pool. If you don’t fill your swimming pool during the winter months, it won’t affect your water usage information for your wastewater bill. All of these water uses do not impact the wastewater treatment system.