Upcoming Changes to Sewer Treatment Charges
Beginning in the next few months, approximately with the June, 2017 billing cycle, you will see an additional line item on your bill labeled HCUA Treatment Charge. This charge will represent the cost for the Harrison County Utility Authority to treat all of the wastewater that comes out of your home. The cost for this service has been approved by the Public Service Commission at a current rate of $2.97 per 1,000 gallons. This rate will be adjusted annually up or down to reflect the actual treatment cost. Neither Riverbend Utilities nor the MS Public Service Commission has any responsibility or control over the amount charged by the Harrison County Utility Authority. Below are some frequently asked questions that will provide further clarification of the new charge:
How does this affect me?
You will see an increase in the sewer charges on your bill at a rate of $2.97 per 1,000 gallons. An example would be a Riverbend Utilities customer who uses 5,000 gallons of water per month. Their bill would consist of the following:
Sewer Collection $16.50
HCUA Treatment Charge $14.85
Total Due $45.85
Does this new charge replace the
current sewer charge I am paying to Riverbend Utilities?
No, it does not. The sewer charges you are currently paying are for Riverbend Utilities to collect and treat the wastewater from your home. Riverbend Utilities utilizes aerated sewage lagoons for sewer treatment. This method provides what is called secondary treatment and is inexpensive because Mother Nature does most of the work with naturally occurring bacteria in our lagoons, cleansing the wastewater prior to its release into the waterways of our community. The majority of the wastewater expenses that Riverbend Utilities incurs is through the collection of the sewer from your home and its distribution to the proper treatment source. Riverbend Utilities will still incur those same costs of collection and distribution, however now the distribution will just be to a different location.
Why is Riverbend Utilities utilizing
the Harrison County Utility Authority for sewer treatment? Why can’t Riverbend Utilities continue to
treat the wastewater as they have in the past?
The MDEQ (Mississippi Department of Environmental Quality) is now requiring considerably better wastewater treatment on the Mississippi Gulf Coast to better protect our local waterways. This takes more sophisticated mechanical treatment methods which are, unfortunately, more expensive to build and operate. A regional entity like the Harrison County Utility Authority can more efficiently provide this service. Riverbend Utilities wastewater permits require that once a regional system is available we must connect to it and cease our local sewage treatment operations.
Will I have to set up a separate
account with the HCUA?
No, this additional charge will show up on your bill as a separate line item and will be added in to your total due. Payment will still be made to Riverbend Utilities as in the past. Riverbend Utilities will handle payment to the HCUA for the treatment charges. Also, the method by which you receive service will not be affected. Riverbend Utilities will still be your water and sewer provider in our service area. You will still contact Riverbend Utilities for all service requests.
How can I contact the Harrison County
Written communication can be mailed to: Donald Sharr, Director
Harrison County Utility Authority
10271 Express Drive
Gulfport, MS 39503
Or by phone at (228) 868-8752.