City says it fixes quirk in sewer bills

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By David Giuliani

Some people get monthly utility bills and notice something strange: They’re paying for more gallons of sewer use than water consumed.

This is a problem city officials believe they corrected recently.

Sewer usage rates are based on water use from the previous winter, which is usually when people use less water.

But when homes change hands, the new occupants may use considerably less water. They then become mystified about the impossibility of disposing more water than they use.

The city’s utilities advisory committee recommended that the city charge customers less for their sewer service if their water usage is less than the previous winter-quarter average.

Sewer rates would be adjusted to make sure the change would be revenue-neutral, officials said.

The City Council voted 2-1 to approve this change to sewer rates, with members Andrew Feldman and David Romero in favor and Tonita Gurule-Giron against.