In 2014, the Board of Commissioners adopted a more equitable formula for sharing the maintenance and capital costs for the Township’s sanitary sewer system among all users of this vital infrastructure.
The sewer rent fee appears on each February’s real estate tax bill. It covers the costs associated with maintaining Cheltenham Township’s sanitary sewer system, which connects to every sink, toilet, dishwasher, etc.
The old formula was based on fixture counts. It assumed that more sinks, toilets and drains equated to more use of the sanitary sewer and so set a higher fee. The fee is now based upon the amount of water used by each property in addition to a fixed fee that is determined by the property use.
Water Use Cost – Residential and Commercial
The water consumption portion of the fee is calculated by multiplying $3.91 (in 2015) for each 1,000 gallons of water used at the property between during the prior 12-month period ending Sept. 30. Aqua Pennsylvania, Inc., provides the data.
Residential Fixed Fee
The fixed fee is based on an “equivalent dwelling unit” (EDU). Each residential property is assigned one EDU. In 2015, the cost of an EDU is $250.65.
Commercial Fixed Fee
Each commercial property was assigned a specific number of EDUs, depending on the type of business and its impact of the sewer system. For example, a large restaurant would get a higher number of EDUs than a small accounting office since the restaurant would put significantly more demand the sanitary sewer. Each EDU costs $250.65 in 2015, the same as for residential properties.
Some properties will pay more under the new system and some will pay less. Overall, the change should be revenue neutral for the Township.