Extra strength surcharge billing is the method used by the City to ensure that dischargers of high strength wastewater pay their fair share of wastewater treatment costs. Often, the wastewater discharged from businesses contains solids and organic matter at higher concentrations in comparison to concentrations found in residential wastewater. Wastewater is considered to be "normal strength" if it meets the wastewater quality standards established for typical residential wastewater (see "Normal Values" in the table below). Wastewater that exceeds these standards is considered to be "extra strength." Much of the cost associated with treating wastewater is related to the amount of solids that must be removed, amount of chemicals used to remove phosphorous and the amount of oxygen that is required to stabilize and digest that organic matter in the wastewater. As such, the treatment of wastewater from some businesses is significantly more expensive than the treatment of typical residential wastewater.
Relying on the periodic collection and analyses of wastewater samples from each permitted source of industrial waste, the Extra Strength Surcharge Program enables the City to recover the extra costs associated with the treatment of extra strength wastewater. Individualized surcharges are determined for each industrial source. These surcharges are based on site-specific sample results for Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD), Total Phosphorous and Total Suspended Solids (TSS). The basis for determining the extra strength costs are contained the City’s Codified Ordinances, Section 929.
The wastewater surcharge is only applied to those sources of waste if their average discharge quality exceeds one or more of the following parameters:
Normal Values in Milligrams per Liter (mg/l)
Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) 200 mg/l
Total Phosphorous 10 mg/l
Total Suspended Solids (TSS) 240 mg/l
All customers subject to a surcharge are notified by letter, and the surcharge fees are applied to the customer’s utility bill. Please call the Oregon Wastewater Treatment Plant at (419) 698-7042 if you have any questions regarding extra strength surcharge billing.