City Lights January

Want to Lower Your Sewer Charges? Reduce your water usage from December to March!

The City of DeSoto Department of Public Utilities uses the winter average method to determine the volume of sewer that will be used to calculate a residential customer’s sewer charges. In April of each year, the Utility Billing Division reviews each customer’s water usage for their December, January, February and March billings. The two months with the highest water usage are discarded, and the two months with the lowest usage are averaged together to determine the customer’s winter average for sewer usage. This winter average will be the cap on the volume of sewer for which a customer will be billed. The winter average remains in effect for one year, until the new winter average is calculated the

following April. A residential customer’s monthly sewer volume will never exceed the cap set by their winter average. However, if a customer uses less water than their winter average, the

customer’s sewer volume will be based on their actual water usage. Q: Why do you use the winter billing months for averaging?

7 am A: TradiƟonally, the four billing months with the lowest water usage for residenƟal customers are December, January, February and March. The primary reason for this is that most residenƟal customers are not watering their lawns during this Ɵme frame, so water usage is mainly inside the house. The majority of the water used during winter months is entering the sanitary sewer system.

Public Welcome! Q: Once I have my average, will it ever change? A: Your new average will be recalculated automaƟcally each year when we average your December through March bills. Your winter average could go up, go down or stay the same from year to year. It depends on how much water you use during the winter months. Q: What is my average if I am a new customer and do not have the winter months’ history? A: Each year, we average all residenƟal customers’ water usage to establish a city average. Every residenƟal customer who does not have a full December, January, February and March billing will receive the city average unƟl they have the history to establish their own winter average the following year. Cosponsor PracƟcing water conservaƟon, especially during the winter months, will also save you money year round. For more informaƟon watch a video on sewer averaging that is available on the City of DeSoto website at If you have quesƟons about your UƟlity Bill, please call the UƟlity Billing Department at 972.230.9627. Q: Why do you average only two of the four winter months? A: Lawn sprinkling, filling a swimming pool, holiday entertaining or having a toilet leak can all lead to increased water usage. Being able to discard the billings with the highest water usage prior to averaging the remaining two months, provides a more representaƟve measure of water flowing into the sanitary sewer system. Q: What is sewer? A: Sewer or wastewater is the used water that goes down the drains inside our homes and businesses. The most common sources of domesƟc sewer are toilets, sinks, bathtubs/showers, and washing machines. Q: Once I have my average, does this mean I will be charged this same amount for sewer every month? A: No, the average winter usage is the maximum volume of sewer for which a customer will be billed. For example, if your average winter water usage is five thousand gallons, and you use fiŌeen thousand gallons of water in a given month, you will be billed for only five thousand gallons of sewer in that month. However, if you use four thousand gallons of water in a month, you will be billed for four thousand gallons of sewer in that month. For residential customers, sewer usage will never be higher than water usage.

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