Friday, April 24, 2009

Making Adjustments

Anyone who has ever tried to capture reality, be they a sculptor, photographer, or statistician, will invariably find themselves doing a lot of tweaking. It's the only way their final works or research can become more exacting, accurately reflecting the images the eyes see, or trends the market face.

Could the same go for calculating sewer service charges? Sure thing. Every year, the City makes an adjustment to residential sewer service charges based on your wintertime water consumption. ("Wintertime" refers to the period between mid-October and mid-February). An average of the two bills sent during this time is taken and then applied to a table, providing the customers' new sewer service charge. So, this amount could go up or down annually. The adjustment is seen in the billing cycle that follows this period, and will be the one you'll receive in the mail by May 1st.

You may be wondering, what does this sewer service charge pay for? Put simply, it pays for water that goes down the drain(s), which needs to be treated in order to be released into the Bay and Pacific Ocean. In Brisbane, four pump stations throughout the city move wastewater or storm water to the Southeast Water Pollution Control Plant, which is managed by the San Francisco Public Utilities Commission (SFPUC). This plant processes 80% of San Francisco's sewage - or, 67 million gallons a day! Brisbane contributes just a small percentage to this amount, or roughly 330,000 gallons per day.

And just in case your curiosity about wastewater plants has been piqued, you can read more about them on SFPUC's site when you click here. And, below is an aerial view of the Southwest Water Pollution Control Plant, on Jerrold St. near the corner of Evans and Third streets.

Should you have any questions about your water and sewer bill, or wish to set up credit card or direct payments from your checking or savings account, please phone Debra at 508-2154 and she will be happy to assist you.

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