Sewer Rates

The City of Grants Pass is responsible for wastewater disposal. 

The Public Works Department collects wastewater from 13,411 homes and businesses in the city and Urban Growth Boundary via 164 miles of piping, disinfects it at a treatment plant, and returns the clean water to the river. 

Sewer rates are based upon the winter quarter average water usage for residential customers, on monthly water usage for commercial customers and based upon the related averages for all customers who receive sewer only services.

Residential and Multifamily

Monthly Residential and Multifamily Sewer Rates - Effective January 1, 2017
Service Charge
includes first 2 units of consumption
$13.79
Volume Charge
multiplied by average winter water consumption
$2.82

Commercial Normal Strength

Monthly Commercial Normal Strength Sewer Rates - Effective January 1, 2017
Service Charge
includes first 2 units of consumption
$13.79
Volume Charge
multiplied by actual water consumption
$2.82

Commercial High Strength

Monthly Commercial High Strength Sewer Rates - Effective January 1, 2017
Service Charge
includes first 2 units of consumption
$13.79
Volume Charge
multiplied by actual water charge
$3.96

Public

Public Sewer Rates - Effective January 1, 2017
Service Charge
includes first two units of consumption
$13.79
Volume Charge
multiplied by actual water usage
$2.82

Pump Station

Pump Station Rates - Effective January 1, 2017
Webster Pump Station
                                                                                 
$0.28 per unit
Redwood Pump Station
 
$0.55 per unit

Wastewater Billing

The following represents a detailed explanation as to how the City of Grants Pass bills wastewater charges. 

Every wastewater customer pays a Base service charge. 

Included in this charge are the costs associated with wastewater collection, wastewater treatment, and customer service. This charge includes the first 2 units of wastewater (a unit is 100 cubic feet which is equivalent to approximately 748 gallons).

In addition to the base service charge customers are billed a wastewater volume charge. Volume charges are assessed based upon customer class type and use. Billing structures and examples for those classes are detailed below.

Commercial & Public

The commercial and public class consists of all customers who do not qualify as residential or multifamily, which the city determines to contribute sewage of a strength consistent with that of domestic uses. These customers are billed wastewater volume charges based upon their actual water consumption. For every one unit of water that runs through the domestic meter a unit of wastewater is charged after the first 2 units.

Commercial and Public Wastewater Charges Example

  1. Service charge is $13.79 (includes first two units of consumption)
  2. Wastewater Volume Charge is $22.56 (charged for 10 units)
  3. Total Wastewater Charges are $36.35

Commercial High Strength

All customers who do not qualify as residential or multifamily, which the city determines to contribute sewage of a strength materially higher than that of domestic uses, consisting of typical concentrations of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) or suspended solids (SS) in excess of 400 milligrams per liter (mg/l, or parts per million). High strength commercial activities include:

  • Auto steam cleaning
  • Bakery
  • Hotel / motel with restaurant facilities
  • Industrial or commercial laundry
  • Supermarket with garbage grinder or food service
  • Mortuary
  • Restaurant
  • Any other commercial activity which the Utilities Director determines to typically contribute sewage in excess of the strength standard.

These customers are billed wastewater volume in the same manner as commercial customers but pay a higher volume rate charge.

Commercial High Strength Wastewater Charges Example

  1. Service charge is $13.79 (includes first two units of consumption)
  2. Wastewater Volume Charge is $31.68 (charged for 10 units)
  3. Total Wastewater Charges are $45.47

Residential, Multi-family & Residential PUD

These customers are each defined individually by municipal code. 

The residential class consists of customers with a single or a duplex residence intended for single family occupancy in each unit, which contain separate kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom facilities. 

The multifamily and residential PUD classes consist of residential customers served by a single meter with three or more residential units except where the units are defined as commercial occupancies under the Uniform Building Code. 

All 3 of these customer types are billed wastewater based upon their average winter water consumption. 

Averaging Water Consumption

The average winter water consumption is determined for customers during the months of November to April.

Average water use during these months is used as the wastewater use charge for a year from April to March.  This practice is meant to eliminate any outdoor watering in the calculation of wastewater volume charges. 

Averaging Normal Water Consumption

  • Month 1 = 7 units
  • Month 2 = 5 units
  • Month 3 = 6 units
  • Month 4 = 7 units
  • Month 5 = 7 units

5 month average = 6 units

Calculating Volume Charge When Unusual Consumption Exists

If customers experience a leak or unusual water consumption for a month during the calculation then that month is excluded from the average.

Averaging Unusual Water Consumption

  • Month 1 = 7 units
  • Month 2 = 5 units
  • Month 3 = 6 units
  • Month 4 = 13 units
  • Month 5 = 7 units

Month 4 removed, remaining 4 months averaged = 6 units

Once a customer’s average has been established that average is billed to them for a full year. 

Customers must have water use for a full three months during the calculation period in order to be assigned an individual wastewater volume charge. 

Customers that do not have an established history are assigned the class average until such time as they establish their own. Class average is calculated during the months of November, December, January, February, and March. 

The calculation consists of total units of water used by the class during that period divided by the number of households associated with the class: 

261,099 total consumption divided by 39,802 households equals 6.56 hundred cubic feet (hcf) per account.

Customers who have not established their own average, who have 0 consumption for 3 or more months during the calculation period, or who have no history with the city are given the class average for wastewater volume.

Example Bill for Customers Without an Established Average

  1. Service charge is $13.79 (includes first two units of consumption)
  2. Wastewater Volume Charge is $11.28 (charged for 6 units)
  3. Total Wastewater Charges are $25.07

Wastewater Only Billing

The following represents a detailed explanation as to how the City of Grants Pass bills wastewater charges for customers who do not have an associated water account. 

Every wastewater customer pays a base service charge. Included in this charge are the costs associated with wastewater collection, wastewater treatment, and customer service. This charge includes the first 2 units of wastewater (a unit is 100 cubic feet which is equivalent to approximately 748 gallons). In addition to the base service charge customers are billed a wastewater volume charge. Volume charges are assessed based upon class type and use. Billing structures and examples for those classes are detailed below.

Residential, Multi-family & Residential PUD

These customers are each defined individually by municipal code. 

The residential class consists of customers with a single or a duplex residence intended for single family occupancy in each unit, which contain separate kitchen, bedroom, and bathroom facilities. 

The multi-family and residential PUD classes consist of residential customers served by a sewer connection with three or more residential units except where the units are defined as commercial occupancies under the Uniform Building Code.

All three of these customer types are billed wastewater based upon their average winter water consumption for the class. These customers do not utilize city water which means there is no way to calculate individual class average. Each year when the class average is established these customers are assigned the costs associated with the average. 

Example of Residential Wastewater Only Bill

  1. Service charge is $13.79 (includes first 2 units of consumption)
  2. Wastewater Volume Charge is $14.10 (charged for 7 units)
  3. Totals Wastewater Charges are $27.89

Commercial & Public

The commercial and public class consists of all customers who do not qualify as residential, multifamily, which the city determines to contribute sewage of a strength consistent with that of domestic uses. These customers are billed wastewater volume charges based upon individual business type averages.

Commercial High Strength

All customers who do not qualify as residential, multifamily, which the city determines to contribute sewage of a strength materially higher than that of domestic uses, consisting of typical concentrations of biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) or suspended solids (SS) in excess of 400 milligrams per liter (mg/l, or parts per million).

High strength commercial activities include: auto steam cleaning; bakery; hotel/motel with restaurant facilities; industrial or commercial laundry; supermarket with garbage grinder or food service; mortuary; restaurant; or any other commercial activity which the Utilities Director determines to typically contribute sewage in excess of the strength standard. These customers are billed wastewater volume in the same manner as commercial customers but pay a higher volume rate charge.

Rates for the aforementioned commercial or public customer classes are determined by type of business. These rates typically coincide with the transportation utility rates billed to that customer.

Details of those rates are as follows:

Customer Types

Rates by Customer Type
Customer Description
Charge Description
Charge Amount
Medical / Dental clinic MOSO
$169.20
Minor traffic retail commercial consisting of furniture stores, toy stores, nursery, and recreation facilities MRSO
$5.64
General retail consists of shopping center, home improvement, electronics, clothing, pharmacy, lumber, specialty retail, paint stores GRSO
$33.84
Moderate traffic retail consisting of banks, video, convenience stores, movie theaters, gas stations MDSO
$84.60
High traffic retail, drive through beverage HTSO
$64.86
Automobile sales consisting of new, used, and recreational vehicle sales ASSO
$90.24
Small restaurant regular strength SRRS
$73.32
Small market regular strength SMRS
$55.71
Medium to large restaurant - consisting of restaurants that have moderate to high traffic and may include rooms for specialty parties and occasions or may cater serving only 2 meals per day. HSSO
$237.60
Industrial - consisting of heavy, light, industrial park, manufacturing, warehouse, mini-warehouse ISO
$104.34
Small restaurant high strength SRHS
$102.96
Small market high strength SMHS
$79.20
School - elementary PSSO
$273.54
Rogue Community College RCC
$1,238.47

A sewer only commercial bill would look like this:

  1. Basic service charge of $13.79 (includes first 2 units of consumption)
  2. Wastewater volume charge or $33.84 for customer type GRSO
  3. Total Wastewater Charges are $47.63

Summary

Wastewater customers are billed monthly by the City of Grants Pass Customer service department. 

As detailed above users are billed based upon what can reasonably be determined as wastewater use when examining their water use or the average use for the customer class in which they belong. 

It is important to note that commercial customers are not billed wastewater charges for outdoor irrigation water use if they have a separate irrigation service meter. At the same time residential wastewater charges are not calculated during periods when outdoor watering would occur.

Pump Station Charges

Customers who live in a service area where wastewater is not fed to the wastewater plant via gravity are required to pay a per unit pumping charge based upon the pump station that serves their property. 

Customers whose property is south of G street and east of Lincoln Road are served by the Webster Pump Station and pay $0.28 per unit of wastewater volume assessed to their bill.

Examples of Bills with Pump Station Charges

Webster Pump Station (South of G Street and East of Leonard Street to the River)

  1. Basic service charge of $13.79 (includes first 2 units of consumption)
  2. Wastewater volume charge of $14.10 for 7 units
  3. Webster Pump Station charge of $1.96 for 7 units
  4. Total Wastewater Charges are $29.85

Redwood Pump Station

  1. Basic service charge of $13.79 (includes first 2 units of consumption)
  2. Wastewater volume charge of $14.10 for 7 units
  3. Redwood Pump Station charge of $3.85 for 7 units
  4. Total Wastewater Charges are $31.74