Clarification on Johnson County Wastewater

It has recently been brought to our attention that there are some questions and concerns about Johnson County Wastewater billing and we hope the following information will be helpful to your discussion.

We base our billing for residential wastewater on a household’s winter water usage, calculating it by averaging the water usage associated with two water bills (January and March or February and April) from the prior winter. This is known as Average Winter Water Use (AWWU). That allows us to eliminate peak water usage months, when residents are likely to water lawns and fill pools.

If you didn’t live in the property the prior winter, we use a default average to calculate your bill. Once you get a few bills from your water utility and establish an average, if your usage is below the average of 11,400 gallons in 60 days, feel free to contact us for an evaluation and possible adjustment.

Spikes can happen when there’s a jump in water usage, which could be attributed to plumbing issues, such as leaks. We are always available to discuss some of the common culprits to help identify the reason for increased water usage at your property. Johnson County Wastewater’s rates are among the lowest wastewater rates in the KC metro. Factors that impact rates include water quality compliance requirements and inflation. We had a 7.75% rate increase for 2019…about $2.70 more per month than 2018 for the median household.

We take many approaches to keep our costs down. Ensuring that our services are delivered with excellence and are priced appropriately, we perform regular maintenance on our facilities and equipment. Just like changing the oil in your car, this prevents the need to replace our systems or make costly repairs down the road. As we expand and upgrade the Tomahawk Creek Wastewater Treatment Facility, we will no longer need to send 60% of our wastewater coming into Tomahawk to Kansas City, Missouri for treatment. Cost savings following the completion of the project will positively impact our residents. You can learn more about this project here: https://www.jcwtomahawk.com/

General water services are different from wastewater services. Pollutants in the wastewater must be removed to ensure the protection of public health, aquatic life and the environment before returning it to the environment. We value the health and well-being of all Johnson County residents, and it is our duty to ensure water supplies are safe today and for years to come.

We appreciate the conversation and the opportunity to clarify the billing process. If you have any further questions about your bill, please feel free to give us a call at 715-8500. You can also find information about billing and wastewater treatment on our website at https://www.jocogov.org/dept/wastewater/home. Check out the FAQ section at https://www.jocogov.org/dept/wastewater/faqs-services-billing-fees-projects.

We strive to provide excellent customer service and expect that of our employees. If at any time you feel your needs are not being met or questions not addressed, please do not hesitate to request a supervisor. We are here to help.

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