ALCOSAN (Allegheny County Sanitary Authority) provides sewage treatment for Township residents and businesses based upon the water usage of each sewer user. The ALCOSAN expense makes up roughly 60 percent of the Township's Sanitary Sewer Fund operating expenses.
ALCOSAN bills the Township quarterly for the treatment cost of all Township wastewater. The Township adds a multiplier to the ALCOSAN fees and bills each sewage user in the Township monthly. The multiplier is set at 1.93 for 2021, resulting in a monthly billing rate of $12.29 per month plus $17.56 per 1,000 gallons of water.
The Township's multiplier is established annually by the Board of Commissioners and is used to recapture the Township's costs of operating the sanitary sewer system. This includes the following three primary expenses:
- Sewer lines and equipment maintenance by the Township Public Works Department
- Contracted Consent Order Plan, which includes engineering fees for monitoring, and an outside firm for construction and replacement of sewer lines
- Billing and collection service costs
Winter Averaging Program
Winter averaging is a sewer billing method used by the Township to provide savings for residents during the summer months. The method uses an average of a residential household’s water usage during the winter months (November-April) as the basis for billing sewer charges during the summer months (May-September). Winter averaging reduces the likelihood that residents will be charged for warm weather activities such as watering lawns, washing cars, landscaping, gardening, or filling pools, and more accurately reflects the amount of water that passes through the Township’s sanitary sewer system to get treated by ALCOSAN.
How does Winter Averaging work? The Township’s sewer charges are directly tied to water usage. Winter Averaging is a program that calculates residential sewer charges based on water consumption during the winter when residential customers historically use the least amount of water. This is generally reflective of the amount of water that goes directly into the sanitary sewer system from your property.
How is the average calculated? This billing method averages water consumption for the months of November through April to calculate a value that is then applied to sewer bills that are mailed in June through October (which reflect your water usage from the beginning of May through the end of September). The average functions as a cap on sewer consumption. If you use less water than your calculated winter average during any month, your sewer bill will be based on the lower water consumption for that billing period.
Does my average change? The average is recalculated each spring with a new value based upon the latest winter data.
Why use winter months for averaging? Historically, the lowest water consumption months of the year for residential customers occur during the winter because residents are typically not watering their lawns, filling pools or washing cars. Therefore, it is easier to estimate the actual amount of water that goes directly into the sanitary sewer system versus being used for outdoor watering during the late fall and winter months.
How can I lower my sewer bill? By fixing leaks and keeping water usage low during the months when your average is being calculated, you can help reduce your sewer volume costs all year. We recommend waiting until after your average is calculated to fill a pool or irrigate extensively (after May 1).
Does the Winter Average apply to Commercial customers? No, Winter averaging only applies to residential properties.
Water Conservation TipsFix leaks in faucets, toilets and outside spigots.
Use full loads in your washing machine and dishwasher.
Don’t overwater your lawn.
Take shorter showers and turn off the water while brushing your teeth.