Rates Increasing July 1

Rates for water and natural gas services will increase effective July 1, 2018.

Water rates will increase by two percent, which will affect the average residential monthly water bill by approximately $0.52.

Natural gas rates will increase by 2.165 percent. The average residential monthly natural gas bill during the heating season, when customers use the most natural gas, may increase by approximately $0.93.

Is Your House Wasting Water?

‘Minor’ water leaks account for more than one trillion gallons of water wasted annually in the U.S., according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). And high water bills — often caused by water leaks — are the number one customer complaint at Hartselle Utilities.

EPA has designated the third week in March as Fix a Leak Week. “We encourage our customers to check their homes for water leaks,” say Hartselle Utilities General Manager Bob Sittason, “and the EPA’s Fix a Leak Week is a good reminder to do that.”

Common types of leaks include worn toilet flappers, dripping faucets, and leaking showerheads. All are easily corrected.

Positive that your home does not have a water leak? Sittason offers this tip: check your water meter before and after a two-hour period, when no water is being used. If the meter does not read exactly the same, you probably have a leak.

“Any water usage in your home, intentional or not, will register on your water meter. If you discover a leak,” Sittason says, “let us know. Major leaks, such as those outside your home, can be very costly. We may be able to adjust your water bill, and make sure that it doesn’t skew the numbers used to calculate your summer sewer cap. ”

Rate changes effective July 1 & Service Practice Policy Changes

Base charges for water, sewer and gas services will increase effective July 1, 2015.

There will be a two percent across the board rate increase for water, and the average residential monthly water bill will increase $.54.

The sewer rate will increase 3.0 percent across the board. The average residential monthly sewer bill will increase $1.23.

Natural gas will increase across the board by 2.16 percent, and the average residential monthly natural gas bill during the heating season will increase $1.00.

Other Changes

Hartselle Utilities has recently updated some of their service practice policies. Copies of these updated policies are available at our main office located at 1010 Sparkman St. NW, Hartselle, AL.

Rate changes effective July 1

Base charges for water, sewer and gas services will increase effective July 1, 2014.

There will be a two percent across the board rate increase for water, and the average residential monthly water bill will increase $.50.

The sewer rate will increase 3.1 percent across the board. The average residential monthly sewer bill will increase $1.23.

Natural gas will increase across the board by 2.15 percent, and the average residential monthly natural gas bill during the heating season will increase $.99.

Wastewater Treatment Plant To Reuse Water, Save 800,000 Gallons Per Month

Hartselle Utilities’ Wastewater Treatment Plant has begun a new project to reuse treated water in the plant’s operations.

Wastewater from throughout Hartselle is treated at the plant to meet federal and state standards. The treated wastewater is then released into Shoal Creek, which is part of the Flint River watershed. The Wastewater Treatment Plant is designed to treat 2.7 million gallons of water a day from homes, businesses and industries from the City of Hartselle; it currently discharges about 2 million gallons each day into the creek.

The plant’s chlorine feed and headworks use about 800,000 gallons of water per month. Currently, the plant purchases potable water from Decatur Utilities. Potable water is generally defined as drinking water safe enough to be consumed by humans or used with low risk of immediate or long term harm.

According to Hartselle Utilities Engineering Services Manager Glen Partlow, water used within the plant’s systems doesn’t need to meet drinking water standards, and can safely be reused from the plant’s discharge flow.

“We’ve seen rate increases from Decatur Utilities for the last three years,” explains Hartselle Utilities General Manager Bob Sittason. “By reusing the water within our own system, we will no longer have to purchase this water and save an estimated $26,000.00 per year.”

Last July, the Hartselle Utilities Board approved a plan to build the infrastructure to allow this water to be redirected from within the plant, reducing its dependence on purchased potable water.

The project will cost approximately $90,000, and Partlow expects to recover that cost within three and a half years, possibly sooner. “We were able to utilize some existing piping and buildings to save on costs,” he explains. WWTP staff will paint the reuse pipes purple, a common practice for identifying recycled water.

Major components of the WWTP, Partlow says, will keep a potable water backup system, with backflow preventions built in. “We always want to keep our potable water source in place, just in case,” he says.

Summer Sewer Cap Begins in May

If you use water outdoors during the summer, HU’s annual summer sewer cap will save you money.

Typically, most of the water a household uses enters the sewer system as wastewater, and like water bills, sewer charges are based on the number of gallons used. However, in the summertime, many residents use water outdoors for gardening, filling pools and washing cars, and this water does not enter the sewer system. For this reason, HU sets a cap for the summer sewer rates, and customers are not charged a sewer fee for water used above the cap.

HU uses the months between November and April to calculate each customer’s winter average, and then caps the customer’s summer sewer rate at 120 percent of that amount.

HU customers who use a great deal of water outdoors year-round might consider an outdoor irrigation meter, says Customer Service Manager Terri Harris. The cost to install a meter is $275; the base monthly rate is $$10.58 plus charges for the water used. However, there is no sewer charge for water received through an irrigation meter.

For more information, call HU’s Customer Service Department at (256) 773-3340.

Summer Sewer Cap Began in May, Runs Through October

Typically, most of the water a household uses enters the sewer system as waste. However, in the summertime, many residents use water outdoors – to irrigate lawns and wash cars, for example – and this water never enters the sewer system. For this reason, HU sets a cap for the summer sewer rates, at 120 percent of the average of each customer’s winter usage. Customers are not charged a sewer fee for water used above the cap.

HU uses the months between November and April to calculate winter averages, and then caps each customer’s summer sewer rates at 120 percent of that figure.

HU customers who use a great deal of water outdoors year-round might consider an outdoor irrigation meter, says Customer Service Manager Terri Harris. The cost to install one-inch irrigation meter is $275. However, there is no sewer charge for water received through an irrigation meter.