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Wastewater and Sewer Frequently Asked Questions


Q: Who do I call with questions about my sewer bill?

A: Please contact the billing office at (573) 634-6328.


Q: How is my sewer bill calculated?

A: The calculation has two parts (Effective June 1, 2014):

1. Fixed minimum charge of $9.59

2. Volume charge based on the average water usage per hundred cubit feet during January through March $2.87 per ccf

Example:

Basic minimum charge    $9.59

Water usage              +$16.82   Calculation is 4,383 gallons divided by 748 = 5.86 ccf x $2.87

Total monthly bill          $26.41

    Exceptions:

1. If you are a new customer with no prior usage available, the usage part of the rate will be estimated per the number of people that live in your house.

2. If you are a resident that uses over 15 ccf per year or are a commercial customer, your usage will be based on an actual 12 month average.


Q: Why is my sewer bill so high?

A:

 

 

1. If your property is outside the city limits the city ordinance states that the basic rate part of the calculation will be 3 times higher.

        2. If your water usage increases that part of the calculation will also increase.

3. In addition, both parts of the sewer bill calculation increase yearly until 2010.  On November 7, 2000 the voters approved $52,000,000 Sewerage System  Revenue Bonds for improving the City’s sewerage system.  A 29% increase in sewer fees was effective June 1, 2001 with an additional 4% increase annually for 9 years was required to finance the proposed sewer projects.  In 2010 the base rate will increase by $1.35 per month and the use charge by $0.43 per month to meet unfunded federal mandates for improvements at the treatment plant.


Q: Where can I pay my bill?

A: Jefferson City Utilities offers many options:

 

 

1. Automatic Draft - Jefferson City Utilities will gladly draft the payment every month from a checking or savings account, fill out an AUTOMATIC DRAFT FORM and mail it in before the end of the month. Or you may call (573) 634-6328 to request an Automatic Draft Form be mailed to you. On or around the second business day of each month, Jefferson City Utilities would then deduct the amount of the monthly invoice from the pre-arranged account.

2. Phone Payment - Payment can be processed by calling (573) 634-6328 and using a credit or debit card to make the payment.

3. Drop Box - For after-hours (5 p.m. to 8 a.m.) or weekend payments a drop box is located at the main entrance of City Hall located at 320 E. McCarty St. Please note that the drop box will be checked only once each business day at 8 a.m. and any payments deposited into the drop box after the scheduled pick up will not be credited to the customer's account until the following business day.

4. Online Payments - Customers can pay by debit/credit card or by electronic check by logging on to www.jeffcitymo.org/main/OnlinePayments.html and following the link on the left for Online Payments. Customers can also set up Autopay for payments to be deducted on the 15th of each month.

5. Mail - Customers can mail their payments along with the bill stub to the following remittance address:

               Jefferson City Utilities

               P.O. Box 1278

               Jefferson City, MO 65102

6. Convenience Locations - Customers can drop their payments at one of the convenience locations listed below:

               Schnuck's Market - 1801 Missouri Blvd.

               Schulte’s Fresh Foods – 1904 Southwest Blvd.
               Convenient Food Mart – 3714 W. Truman Blvd.
               Convenient Food Mart – 426 Brooks St.
               Convenient Food Mart – 701 Eastland Dr.
               Hy-Vee – 3721 W. Truman Blvd.
               Gerbes – 2805 W. Truman Blvd.
               Gerbes – 2101 Schotthill Woods Dr.


Q:  Is my home or property connected to the City's sanitary sewers?

A:  If you feel there is a question of whether your home or business is connected to the sewer system, please call the Collection Systems Maintenance Office (CSM) at (573) 634-6455.


Q:  I need to know (locate) where the City's sanitary sewers are?

A:  If you need to know where the sanitary sewers are because excavation work is being planned, during or after hours call 1-800-344-7483 (DIG-RITE).  If you need to know the location of sanitary sewers for any other reason call the CSM at (573) 634-6455.


Q:  Who do I call if I have a sewer backup?

A:  Call the City Collection Systems Maintenance Office (CSM) at (573) 634-6455 where personnel are on duty from 7:30 am to 4:00 pm during the work week. If it is after working hours, call the Jefferson City Police Department at (573) 634-6351.  They will page the person who is “on call” to call you and respond to your problem.


Q:  How do I determine if the backup is a City problem or a plumbing problem of my own?

A:  If water is backing up slowly or rapidly in your basement or drain and you have not, or are not using water, it is best to call the City first.  We can then check the City main line for a blockage and if none is found you can then call your plumber.  If you are using water and a drain is backing up, shut off the water and see if the water stops coming up. If it stops, you should probably call your plumber to see what the problem is.


Q:  I woke up this morning, went downstairs to do something, I had water backed up in my basement and I have not used any water?

A:  Did you do laundry the night before; Run the dishwasher; Take showers, etc.  If the water is not slowly or rapidly coming up you should call your plumber.


Q:  Is there a charge if I call the CSM about a sewer backup and it is determined that there is not a problem with the public sewer?

A:  There is no charge whether there is a problem found with the public sewer or not.  However, if a problem is found with the Public sewer system and a plumber was called prior to contacting the City CSM, the city will not be liable for the plumber’s expenses or bill.


Q:  Who do I call about odor problems?

A: If the odor is inside or outside of your property contact the CSM at (573) 634-6455 and/or check the following comments.  

A frequent cause for inside odors is a dry trap. Pouring a quart of water into all sinks, showers/tubs and floor drains may correct this problem. If it is felt that the odor may be of an explosive nature the Fire Department should be called immediately at 911.  If the problem is outside there could be several reasons and here is a few examples. An overflowing manhole in the area, a neighbor’s service line cleanout is running over or surfacing due to a blockage, a roof vent of yours or your neighbors is letting out orders from the main sewer line.


Q:  My stool just blew water up and out of it! What happened?

A:  Water being splashed out of the toilet or traps and toilets being sucked dry may occur when CSM is cleaning sewers for a Service call or regular maintenance. This sometimes happens when there is a problem with the plumbing inside your house, venting or how your service connection is connected. Contact CSM Personnel at (573) 634-6455 who will help determine if your problem occurred when the sewer main was being cleaned. 


Q:  Why are there flags and paint in my yard?

A:  It is generally because there is excavation work being planned in the area and the person, company or utility planning the work has requested "locates". The flags/paint marks the location of buried utility lines. Before the City CSM would do any major excavation work (backhoe type work) on your property you would be contacted unless an emergency situation exists and you are not at home.


Q:  Why did you put that manhole in my yard while I was at work?

A:  When manholes are built the tops of the manholes are left accessible. Later when homes and businesses are built manholes are occasionally buried in yards and driveways. The Maintenance Crews usually locates these "lost" manholes when they are cleaning or investigating the sewers in your area. The buried manholes are then scheduled to be adjusted unless the manhole is needed for immediate access. The manhole will be adjusted to grade so they are accessible again in the future. Buried manholes can create a problem for you, your neighbors and the City CSM if a blockage would occur in the City’s main line and access was not available. If you have any question about raising or lowering a manhole please call (573) 634-6455.


Q:  I have backups that only happen after heavy rainfall. Can I do something about this?

A:  Yes. The City CSM has a policy in place and when determined and approved by the City, the property owner may have a plumber install a backflow preventer at the property owners cost. The City CSM will then reimburse the property owner up to $300.00 when the plumber’s bill is submitted to the City. However, during this high flow period, use of indoor plumbing will be limited due to the water being held back from the backflow preventer.


Q:  What can I dump down the sewers or my drains?

A:  Only domestic waste should be put down a home sewer. No fuel, oils, paint, poisons, fertilizers, or antifreeze should ever be poured down a drain. These substances are harmful to the sewer plant and can cause damage to the collection system, sewer maintenance workers, or your home.


Q:  Can I pour cooking grease down the drain?

A:  No. You can clog the piping inside your house by pouring grease down the drain. It can also clog sewer mains and lead to overflows in yards, parks, creeks and streets. Grease also leads to higher sewer costs as all grease must be removed by expensive manual methods.  Read more about grease here Household and Commercial Grease.


Q:  Are there normal household products that should not be flushed down the drain?

A:  Yes. You should always place diapers, tampons, condoms in the trash. These items can clog your indoor plumbing, cause overflows outside your home and add to cost of treatment.


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