Huge sewer bill

We are looking at a park with a huge sewer bill.

We think that the park has a huge sewer bill because there is underground water leaking into the old clay sewer pipes which increases the out flow tremendously.

Can the forum please give us a ballpark number of what the average sewer flow per mobile home per day or per month is? We understand that it will depend on how big the home is and how many people are living in it, but a ballpark number will help a lot.

I’m not sure where you’re located, but I would compare a month without any rainfall versus this high one you got. Is there a correlation (e.g. more rain = larger sewer bill)? With several months of bills along with historical rainfall data you should be able to reach a conclusion.

If this Park is a master meter only setup then the water usage should be close to the flow meter usage sent from the city. If the sewer flow reading is tons higher than the water usage then you have an infiltration problem and you need to find out if it’s old clay pipes (as per above) and / or if the tenants are contributing to the problem by tying their gutters into the sewer system.

Have a look at state regulations too - I don’t think you can pass along infiltration charges to the tenants and you have to use that as part of the business case when deciding to replace the old pipes. That cost should be reflected in your offer for the Park since it will have a horrible increase on your expense ratio.

And finally, I would look to see if you can hook up a submetered sewer flow meter to see how flow coincides with rainfall in a given month (assuming the bill provided does not detail that already).

I’ve had a problem with water and sewer in one of my parks and found the best source of information was from the guys working in the city public works department – not the office people working in billing, but the crew managers who work out of the city yard. Give them a call; they might know exactly what is going on.

Average sewer is usually at or just under daily drinking water asumming no infiltration or intrusion. Typical usage is 100 to 200 gallons per day per house for drinking water. Sewer should be pretty close to this. As was suggested compare dry weather flow verses wet weather.

What is the sewer flow vereses drinking water at this park?

Federal law limits rainfall induced inflow to 275 gpdpc (gallons per day per capita) for a storm and 120 gpdpc for infiltration caused by high water tables.

See

https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/40/35.2120

Regarding high sewer bills, I am not aware of a sewer meter, Therefor most likely you are charged sewer based on one of two items, the amount of potable metered water (for every gallon of water you are charged 1 gallon of sewer) or maximum volume of the pipe (size) of your sewer connection.

If the bases for your sewer cost, is the maximum volume of the sewer pipe, and you are on a well system, you can sub-meter the (well) water for a more accurate sewer usage.

We’re here to answer your sub-metering questions.

Sincerely
Dan Helton
President
Southern Water Management
727-827-4509 cell 727-421-9695
Dan@SouthernWaterManagement.com
http://SouthernWaterManagement.com

Sewers are routinely metered by using a v notch weir and an ultrasound trasducer to measure the height of the fluid going through the weird. You enter the angle of the notch into the ultrasound transducer and it computes the flow and totalizes it as well.

I thought this was an interesting read on options:

https://blogs.siemens.com/measuringsuccess/stories/634/

Lots of products out there, would be a great offering for water companies to provide MHP owners 3 months of monitoring to understand the extent of the problem as intrusion seems to be a more common topic.

@DanHelton,

The City actually installed a sewer flow meter on the main line, and they charge accordingly.

The sewer outflow on this park is at least twice (sometimes even much more) the potable water inflow.

The park is on City water.

What do you consider a huge sewer bill? Our 64 unit park is on a sanitary district at a flat rate of $36.42 per unit per month which has been raised twice since we purchased the park three years ago.