Due to a number of reasons - increasing population, industrial growth, and changes in the regulations for discharging treated wastewater (sewage) - Richmond was faced with the challenge of upgrading the current lagoon ponds. Because of the renewal of our water discharge permit, our community was one of the first in the state that fell under the new EPA regulations, particularly the requirement to remove enough phosphorus for us to be able to discharge treated water into the river.
Many options for meeting the discharge requirements, both now and in the foreseeable future, were explored, beginning in 2002. As discussions and research proceeded, these options were narrowed down to six. After a number of public hearings and numerous presentations, the council chose to build a membrane bio-reactor plant. Although one of the costliest options, it allows for easy expansion and installation of other equipment as EPA discharge regulations changed. Richmond received some very generous grants and no-interest loans both from the state and the Federal Army Corps of Engineers.
In return for the grants ($1.3 million) and loans ($3.6 million), the city agreed to implement impact fees and increase sewer fees. Through a number of studies, the state determined that Richmond residents should pay a fee of $41 as their part of the cost of a treatment plant. This fee would be the same regardless of which treatment plant option was chosen. Therefore, the council decided to go with the option giving us the 'biggest bang for the buck'.
The current fee is $48 per month. Each fiscal year (through June 2017), the fee will increase by $1 to account for inflation..
This fee is only for a base discharge of 15,000 gallons per month (based on the amount of culinary water metered into the residence). Amounts over that base will be charged $1 per each additional 1000 gallons.
2015 Ordinances and Resolutions
Several ordinances and resolutions pertinent to wastewater and associated fees were adopted at the November 17 city council meeting.
- Ordinance 2015-6, Establishing a monthly billing and rate schedule
- Resolution 2015-7, Unit Costs for Wastewater
Interlocal Agreements with Cherry Peak Resort
Richmond City has signed two agreements with Cherry Peak Resort. The city will be selling surplus water to the resort. One meter will be for culinary water and fall into their transient water district. A Transient Water District has been formed by the resort to ensure that culinary water consumed outside of a municipal system meets all of the EPA/DDW (Division of Drinking Water) standards. Cherry Peak Resort is responsible for all of the sampling and assays required by the EPA/DDW. Neither the city nor residents will pay for this. A second meter will be for the water used in snow making; this water will NOT be treated (chlorinated). All water will be billed at the same water rate that any business within Richmond City limits currently pays.
The second agreement is for wastewater. The resort’s wastewater will be pretreated in their septic system, then come into our sewer system instead of going into the ground up-stream from our and other private wells. A meter has been installed to allow real-time monitoring, and sampling, etc. will be charged as flow rates are established. After 5 years, the standard industrial wastewater rate will be charged.
For more information on rates, etc. please visit the water and sewer webpages or read the agreements at the city office.
Water & Wastewater Impact Fee Analyses
Richmond City has updated the impact and hook-up fees for culinary water and wastewater (sewer) for the time period of 2014 through 2019. As required by state law, a copy of our final water and wastewater impact fee analyses prepared by a certified authority is available for examination at the Richmond City office (6 West Main). A digital copy may be viewed here (you will need Acrobat Reader to view the document).
Please note that these updates will only apply to future new hook-ups to culinary water and wastewater and DO NOT AFFECT current water and wastewater connections in any manner whatsoever.
Call 811 Before Digging
Please be sure to call Blue Stakes (811) 48 hours before digging to have utilities such as natural gas pipelines marked. Click here for more information.