Section 22-263 Charges for sewage service.

    (a) There is hereby levied on each wastewater system user having any sewer connection with the wastewater system of the city or otherwise discharging sewage, industrial waste, or other liquids, either directly or indirectly into the city's wastewater system, a sewage service charge.  The sewage service charge shall have the following components:

    (1)    Volume Charge:  Subject to the exceptions provided in this article, a volume charge shall be based upon the volume of water used in or on the premises as measured by a water or sewer meter approved by the city; provided, however, that if actual sewer service cannot reasonably be determined from the water or sewage so metered, whether due to defect, tampering or causes unknown, the amount of sewage, waste or waters discharged into such system shall be estimated and billed as provided for in section 27-19.

    (2)    Base Charge:  A base charge will be charged for each user as follows:

                a.    One base charge shall be charged per residential user.

        b.    One base charge shall be charged per non-residential user for each meter. The non-residential base charge shall be determined by the size of the water meter(s), starting with a base charge equal to a residential base charge for meters 5/8 inches and shall scale upwards based on the size of the meter.

    (3)    Additional Charges:  Additional charges for extra strength sewage, toxic pollutants, and wastewater monitoring will be levied where applicable.

    (b)    The monthly volume charges for residential classification shall be based on the average monthly billing of water usage during the calendar months of November, December, January, February and March dropping out the highest and lowest usage months.  If the calculated average usage results in an average of less than one (1) CCF, the average will be recalculated using the water usage for the previous twelve (12) month billing periods, April through March.  If the residential user does not have the appropriate number of billing periods necessary for calculating a winter-quarter average, a minimum volume usage of two (2) CCF will be billed until a winter-quarter average can be established.  Winter-quarter average shall transfer to any residential customer who moves to a new residential address.  The monthly volume charges for all other customers shall be based on one hundred (100) percent of the monthly metered water used, except as otherwise provided in this Code.

    (1)    Sewage service charge rates. Each user of the wastewater system of the city shall pay a base charge and a volume charge for the use of such system monthly. Sewage service charges shall be based on the following rates:
    Residential Base Charge:    $7.30

Non-residential Base Charge:
Water Meter
Meter Capacity
Base Charge
by Meter Capacity
$ 7.30
$ 12.17
$ 24.33
$ 48.67
$ 155.73
$ 243.34
$ 1,460.04
$ 1,946.72
$ 2,676.74
$ 3,650.10

Volume Charge:

    Volume charge, per Ccf:    $  2.414
    Ccf = 100 cubic feet

Rate increases imposed by Ordinance No. 20922 may be phased-in for manufacturers.  A “manufacturer” is defined for the purpose of this section as: a user that has facilities for the assembly, compounding, packaging, processing, treatment or manufacture of equipment, materials, merchandise or products, and that employs at least twenty-five (25) employees.  Manufacturers may request, in writing, that the director phase-in rate increases imposed by Ordinance No. 20922.  Such requests must be received by the director before December 1, 2011.  After the director receives the written request, the manufacturer’s rates shall revert, on the manufacturer’s next utility bill, to rates in effect before the passage of Ordinance No. 20922.  The phased-in rate increases shall be made annually in three equal increments beginning on January 1, 2012.  The director shall determine who meets the criteria of “manufacturer” consistent with this ordinance.  All manufacturers shall pay the full rate increase beginning on January 1, 2015.

    (2)    Extra strength charge. Wastewater discharged to the wastewater system from commercial or industrial users shall be subject to an extra strength charge when the BOD or total suspended solids concentration exceeds three hundred (300) milligrams per liter (mg/l) by weight. All analyses shall be performed on composite samples collected at no less than hourly intervals over a twenty-four-hour period.

        Extra strength charges shall be calculated based on one hundred (100) per cent of metered water use, except as otherwise provided in section 22-269 of this Code, in accordance with the following formula:

         S = Vs x 0.00624 x [$ 0.273 (BOD - 300) + $ 0.1866 (SS - 300)]




Surcharge in dollars monthly.



Sewage volume in 100 cubic feet per month.



Conversion factor for hundred cubic feet to million pounds.

$ 0.273


Unit charge for BOD in dollars per pound; of which $ 0.213 represents the user charge portion and $ 0.060 represents capital charges.



BOD strength index in mg/l by weight.



Allowed BOD and suspended solids strengths in mg/l by weight.

$ 0.1866


Unit charge for suspended solids in dollars per pound; of which $ 0.14357 represents the  user charge portion and $ 0.0430 represents capital charges.



Suspended solids strength index in mg/l by weight.

    (3)    Monitoring charge. When regulations as set forth by the federal government, state and city require monitoring of the waste from a commercial or industrial user, whether for strength calculations or for NPDES compliance, that user shall pay a monitoring charge.

        The monitoring charge shall consist of all costs for personnel, material and equipment used to collect and analyze samples from the user's wastewater.

        The exact charge shall be based on actual costs and shall be determined by the director.

    (4)    Toxic pollutant charge. Any user which discharges any toxic pollutants which cause an increase in the cost of managing the effluent or sludge from the city's treatment system shall pay for such increased costs.

(c)    For City of Columbia residential sewer customers who receive water service from a public water district, the billing will be based on  the winter-quarter average as described in subsection (b) using the water district's available water usage information .

(Code 1964, § 14.830; Ord. No. 10275, § 1, 9-4-84; Ord. No. 12022, § 1, 9-19-88; Ord. No. 12711, § 1, 8-20-90; Ord. No. 13413, § 1, 8-17-92; Ord. No. 14914, § 1, 8-5-96; Ord. No. 15620, § 1, 5-18-98; Ord. No. 15926, § 2, 3-15-99; Ord. No. 16851, § 1, 4-2-01; Ord. No. 16890, § 2, 5-7-01; Ord. No. 17837, § 1, 9-15-03; Ord. No. 18215, § 2, 9-20-04; Ord. No. 18685, § 2, 9-19-05; Ord. No. 19231, § 2, 10-2-06; Ord. No. 19656, § 2, 9-17-07; Ord. No. 20046, § 2, 9-15-08; Ord. No. 20413. § 2, 9-21-09; Ord. No. 20740, § 1, 9-20-10; Ord. No. 20922, § 1 3-21-11; Ord. No. 20936, § 1, 4-18-11; Ord. No. 21073, § 2, 9-19-11; Ord. No. 21161, § 1, 12-5-11; Ord. No. 21429, §2, 9-17-12; Ord. No. 21364, § 1, 7-16-12)

(Ord. 21429, Amended, 09/17/2012, Prior Text; Ord. 21364, Amended, 07/16/2012, Prior Text; Ord. 21161, Amended, 12/05/2011, Prior Text; Ord. 21074, Amended, 09/19/2011, Prior Text; Ord. 20936, Amended, 04/18/2011, Prior Text; Ord. 20922, Amended, 03/21/2011, Prior Text; Ord. 20740, Amended, 09/20/2010, Prior Text; Ord. 20413, Amended, 09/21/2009, Prior Text; Ord. 20046, Amended, 09/15/2008, Prior Text; Ord. 19656, Amended, 09/17/2007, Prior Text; Ord. 19231, Amended, 10/02/2006, Prior Text; Ord. 18685, Amended, 09/19/2005, Prior Text; Ord. 18215, Amended, 09/20/2004, Prior Text; Ord. 17837, Amended, 09/15/2003, Prior Text; Ord. 16890, Amended, 05/07/2001, Prior Text; Ord. 16851, Amended, 04/02/2001, Prior Text; Ord. 15926, Amended, 03/15/1999, Prior Text)