Information that will be used to calculate future residential sewer bills will begin next month and last over a five-month period ending in 2024, according to a news release.

The result will affect Coppell residents’ wastewater charges on monthly utility bills beginning in April. The method takes a household's average water usage during the winter months and uses it as the basis for calculating sewer bills over a 12-month period.

What you need to know

Data collection for winter averaging will begin Nov. 1 and last through the end of March, according to the news release. The city will track water usage over the five-month period, disregard the highest- and lowest-usage months, and average the usage from the remaining three months.

The associated water usage will determine how much a residential customer will pay on a monthly sewer bill for the upcoming billing period. New utility customers who do not have a winter average are charged based on the citywide average water usage for sewer bills, per the news release.

The background

Coppell adopted an ordinance to adopt the winter averaging billing method Sept. 27, 2022. Previously, the city used a billing method that capped usage at 13,000 gallons per month, but customers often paid for outdoor water usage because wastewater does not rely on a meter system for billing, according to the news release.

The new method only bases charges for household use, not irrigation, which does not flow into the city’s wastewater system.

“Winter averaging provides more accurate wastewater billing and also encourages water conservation,” Director of Strategic Financial Engagement Kim Tiehen said in the news release. “Since sewer flow is not metered, prior to the implementation of the winter averaging method, wastewater billing would spike during summer months, when outside watering increases for activities, such as irrigation and pool use.”