Water & Wastewater Submetering with Lift Station Expense Passthrough


#1

I have a lift station in my RV Park where I submeter water and sewer (and electric) for long term residents. I “eat” the cost to repair pumps, check valves, and electrify it today. Was curious if anyone has worked a process to bill these type of expenses back to the tenants. It’s a new lift station without a lot of issues up to this point.

I’m planning to call the Texas PUC to confirm, but best understanding is that there is a way to use a 12 month period of data to establish a blended rate for next year bill back on top of the associated water usage…basically in the same way a utility is required to bill for water / sewer usage to consumers in Texas.

It might not be worth the hassle in the end, but checking options to keep expenses down. Thanks all for any experience, thoughts here.


#2

I have one park with septic and pumps and I do charge $12 per resident on top of their water bill. It covers the maintenance. I spoke to a park owner one time who stated that he instituted his own “association” where he charged $xx a month for these items but also included front entrance maintenance and trailer pressure wash once a year.


#3

Why not just include this in the rent? This question isn’t particularly directed at @WhiteTrashGator. But seriously, if you’re billing some additional fee equally to all residents, why not just call it part of the rent?


#4

@Brandon - I was ultimately trying to achieve a level of transparency as to what costs what and why. All the other RV Parks around me have a flat fee for everything (e.g. $400 per month) and am basically testing to see if it’s a differentiator to say, “Hey, this is the base lot rent plus utilities.”

This park is in a town known for seasonal fishing and swimming, so there are some tenants that have their RV vacant in the offseason (or during the week since this is an hour from a major metro) and cost of utilities is a big consideration.


#5

As a differentiator it makes sense, but be careful about satisfying the Texas PUC requirements. We charge exactly the same base rate and usage fees as the local City, but now that I say this, I’m not sure that’s proper. This is in Texas.


#6

I don’t disagree and you are correct. This park was already set up that way and I’m about at peak rent now so tenants were just used to it.


#7

My company does billing for water utilities the system has a base rate plus usage over xyz gallons and many people cant seem to understand that one month the water bill is $35, the next month $45, the next month $42.50. They just set up their auto pay for the base rate, then they get late fees for their overage. If the PUC will let you make it a flat fee so it’s simple.


#8

After contacting the Texas PUC they confirmed I would have to set myself up as a “utility” which would encapsulate baselining the costs to run the lift station, and then comply with all the same regulations that a water or wastewater provider would have to supply to customers. For example, if I demonstrated it costs $500 dollars per year to run the lift station, I could allocate that as a blended monthly cost on top of the submetered amount to the tenants based on their water usage.

After I mentioned that sounds like a bad solution (a lot of paperwork for a little money) they conceded for my situation it is not ideal, but the only tool available for this scenario.

Based on all this these costs will be included in the rent as @Brandon mentioned. Hopefully this is useful for others.