Sewer Usage Utility Billing Changes
Ankeny City Council updated the ordinance for how the city charges for sewer, effective Jan. 1, 2020. Sewer use charges defaulted to actual billing for residential customers. Actual billing allows customers to pay for sewer use charges based on actual water used. This provides a fairer system for customers that have little to no non-sewer usage, or customers with fluctuating water usage (i.e. vacant properties, snowbirds, etc.). An additional change to the ordinance allows residential customers to add a second meter for non-sewer use, at their expense, and be on actual billing for domestic use.
What You Should Know About the Ordinance
- All existing residential accounts, without a known irrigation/backflow system, defaulted to actual usage for sewer charges. Accounts will no longer be averaged for sewer usage.
- Customers with a known irrigation/backflow system remain on sewer averaging. You are allowed to add a second meter to your home and use actual billing for domestic use. If you plan to add a second meter, you or your plumber will need to notify us when the plumbing is ready for the meter and we will schedule an appointment for the meter installation. You will be billed for the meter once it is installed and then billing will be switched to actual. Once a second meter is added at a residence average sewer billing is no longer an option.
- All new residential homes permitted after January 1, 2020, are required to be plumbed to have the option of a second meter, which deducts non-sewer use, and residents will default and remain on actual sewer. If this line will be used to water or establish turf or landscaping, we highly recommend the secondary meter be installed.
Ankeny City Council unanimously approved the final reading of the updated ordinance on Monday, December 16, 2019. View the updated ordinance.
- Do I have to install a second meter to get a break on sewer?
If your home was permitted after Jan. 1, 2020, you are required to have a second meter. If your home was permitted prior to Jan. 1, 2020, you may remain on sewer averaging if you so choose. However, installing a second meter could benefit you in the long run, depending upon your usage during the averaging period and how your usage is during non-watering months.
- How do other cities in Iowa charge for sewer?
Ankeny was one of only a few cities in the state not billing based on actual usage.
- I am having a new home built; what are my options?
You will default to actual use billing; sewer averaging is not an option because the home's plumbing must have a place for a second water meter to be installed that would deduct non-sewer use.
If you plan to have outside water usage you have the option to install a second meter at your own expense and remain on actual billing. If this line will be used to water or establish turf or plantings, the City of Ankeny highly recommends that the secondary meter be installed. Your builder should be aware of this and if turf or plantings will be watered they should opt to install the second meter with the price of the home.