What is the Winter Average?

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What is the Winter Average?

Your water use from December through February determines your winter average – a cap on how much you will be charged for wastewater treatment for the rest of the year. Here's how we use the winter average to ensure you don't overpay during the summer when you use water outdoors that doesn't get processed at our wastewater treatment plant. 

The AlexRenew bill is set up to charge you for only the wastewater that we treat at our wastewater treatment plant by using your "winter average."

Some of the water that you use during summer, from activities like washing your car or watering your lawn, does not flow into the sanitary sewers and is not treated at our wastewater treatment plant. Water is typically only used indoors during winter months, so it is a good measure of how much wastewater flows to AlexRenew for treatment.

If you live in a single-family residence, the maximum water use on your AlexRenew bill from March through November is capped. The cap is set at either the average monthly residential use during the previous winter period (December through February), your winter average, or 4,000 gallons, whichever is greater. The 4,000 gallon average was set by AlexRenew based on the calculated average amount of water used by our customers during the winter period.

For instance, if your winter average is 5,000 gallons, when your household uses less than the 5,000 gallon cap, you are billed for your actual use. When you use more than 5,000 gallons, your wastewater treatment charge is capped at 5,000 gallons. 

That doesn’t mean you’ll always be charged your winter average. If in March you use less than your winter average, say 2000 gallons, you’ll only be charged for those 2000 gallons.

Multi-family dwellings, such as condominiums and apartments, typically have separate metered irrigation services and the winter average is not used for billing.

The winter average concept was developed to reflect the average amount of water used indoors by a household and is a validated national process used by many wastewater utilities.