The third quarter residential watering credit program was eliminated in July 2021. This program provided for reduced sewer billings in the third quarter from assumed outside non-sewer water usage. The method for calculating these credits was not based on actual non-sewer water usage and resulted in drastic variance in credits not related to actual watering or other non- sewer water usage. However, there are still ways for residential customers to receive credit for non-sewer water usage such as lawn watering.
The City of Burlington offers “water only” and “sewer deduct” meters to customers who wish to receive a credit for water usage that does not enter the sanitary sewer system. Each utility customer has a primary water meter that captures all water usage at their property. In addition to billings for water consumption, the usage on this meter is also used to determine billings for wastewater discharge. Some water used at the home may not enter the sanitary sewer (like lawn watering) and therefore could be deducted from the customer’s wastewater bill if it is appropriately metered. To qualify for this deduction a customer must install a special meter on their internal plumbing.
A “water only” meter is installed on the internal plumbing prior to the primary meter and captures usage that is only billed for volumetric water consumption. A “sewer deduct” meter is installed on the internal plumbing after the primary meter and captures usage that reduces the wastewater consumption charge from the primary meter. In both cases no plumbing connections are allowed after the secondary meter unless that usage can be demonstrated to not enter the sanitary sewer.
Typical uses that do not enter the sanitary sewer could include: pool fill lines, outside hose bibs, and buried lawn irrigation systems. These meters are owned by the Utility and are paid for through a fixed rate service charge applied on each quarterly utility bill. It is the property owner’s responsibility to secure a plumber to install the meter horn and make all necessary adjustments to the property’s private plumbing. Utility staff are responsible for installing the meter upon completion of any necessary plumbing adjustments. There is no fee for the Utility to set the meter.
If you are interested in receiving a “water only” or “sewer deduct” meter follow these steps:
- Call the City of Burlington Water Utility at 262-342-1173 to discuss your project and determine if this program would be beneficial for your property.
- Secure a plumber to determine costs and configuration for the meter installation.
- Purchase a meter horn from the Water Utility or it can be provided by your plumber.
- Have your plumber perform necessary plumbing adjustments and install the meter horn.
- Call the Water Utility to schedule an inspection and meter installation appointment.
- Turn on the hose and water your lawn without sewer charges!