Starting in March, Manvel is changing how it measures customers’ wastewater usage and determines billing—a measure officials said they hope could save customers $330 annually.

The gist

Manvel recently announced its decision to move to a wastewater averaging model. Under this new system, the wastewater usage of households during November, December and January will be averaged to determine what customers will pay for the wastewater portion of their bill for the rest of the year, according to a March 1 news release from the city.

While officials believe it could save $330 on average each year for customers, data on previous years’ bills—and how the new savings could compare—was not immediately available from the city.

Diving in deeper

Manvel selected November, December and January because they see less water usage, which allows the city to measure wastewater sent to the sewer system without accounting for activities such as lawn irrigation that are more common in warmer months.

This means officials will have a more accurate reading on how much wastewater is being treated in those months than others, according to the release.

Wastewater originates from various sources and, unlike potable water, lacks a dedicated meter to measure household usage accurately, according to the release. This, combined with the fact that treating wastewater is more expensive, results in higher wastewater bills.

One more thing

City officials, who began considering making the transition in November, said they hope this change will encourage water conservation and alleviate financial burdens for Manvel utility customers, according to the release.

“This ensures stable costs and incentivizes water conservation during the averaging period, ultimately reducing the volume of wastewater billed for each month throughout the year,” the release states.