Rates and Structure

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The information presented below is a summary. For the specific details, view the actual rate ordinance in the Ames Municipal Code, specifically, Chapter 28 and Appendix Q (PDF)

Converting Between Cubic Feet and Gallons:
1 cubic foot (CF) = 7.48 gallons
(or 1 CF = 7.5 gallons - for easier converting)
$.0215/CF = $.00287/gallon

How much water does one dollar buy:  

$1 = 46.5/CF or $1 = 348 gallons

 Residential Water Rates (Effective July 1, 2015)
Winter
- Applies to bills mailed on or between November 1 and June 30
$0.0215 per cubic foot
Summer - Applies to bills mailed on or between July 1 and October 31
$0.0215 per cubic foot for the first 1,000 cubic feet of usage
$0.0379 per cubic foot for the next 1,500 cubic feet of usage
$0.0570 per cubic foot for all usage over 2,500 cubic feet

Non-Residential Water Rates
Winter - Applies to bills mailed on or between November 1 and June 30
$0.0215 per cubic foot
Summer - Applies to bills mailed on or between July 1 and October 31
$0.0281 per cubic foot

Non-Peaking Industrial Water Rates
Availability - Available to all non-residential rate customers who meet the following criteria:
- Average winter usage greater than 100,000 cubic feet per billing period.
Average winter usage per billing period will be calculated by taking the sum of the usage during the most previous December, January, and February billing periods and dividing by three.
-Summer peaking factor equal to or less than 120% shall be computed by taking the largest consumption billed during the most recent summer billing periods (bills mailed July, August, September, and October) and dividing it by the average winter usage, with the result expressed as a percentage.
Winter - Applies to bills mailed on or between November 1 and June 30
$0.0215 per cubic foot
Summer - Applies to bills mailed on or between July 1 and October 31
$0.0215 per cubic foot

Irrigation and Yard Water Rates
Winter
- Applies to bills mailed on or between November 1 and June 30
$0.0215 per cubic foot
Summer - Applies to bills mailed on or between July 1 and October 31
$0.0310 per cubic foot for the first 2,000 cubic feet of usage
$0.057 per cubic foot for the next 3,000 cubic feet of usage
$0.0949 per cubic foot for all usage over 5,000 cubic feet

All unit rate charges are in addition to a minimum bill charge that varies based on the meter size.

Minimum Charges

Water Rate Service Charged Based on Meter Size (Residential, Non-residential, Non-peaking Industrial, and Irrigation Accounts):

 Meter Size Service Charge
 5/8 or 5/8 x 3/4 inch $10.98
 3/4 inch $21.96
 1 inch    $43.93
 1 & 1/2 inch $87.86
 2 inch $175.72
 2 inch battery of 2 $340.35
 2 inch battery of 3 $505.06
 3 inch $351.35
 4 inch $592.88
 6 inch $988.14
 8 inch $1,976.27
 10 inch $2,964.41

Yard Water Rate Service Charge Based on Meter Size:

MEter Size Yard Meter
5/8 or 5/8 x 3/4 $4.16
3/4 inch $6.46
1 inch $9.09
1 & 1/2 inch $12.41
2 inch $16.49
2 inch battery of 2 N/A
2 inch battery of 3 N/A
3 inch $21.46
4 inch $26.68
6 inch $31.95
8 inch $37.22
10 inch $42.10

Meter and Setting Fees (effective 7/1/2016)

Meter reading and billing are handled by the City of Ames Finance Department.  Any inquiries about billing, starting or stopping utility services, or similar questions should be directed to the Customer Service Division of the Finance Department

Disc Style

Cost 
5/8" or 5/8" and 3/4" disc $300
3/4" disc $330
1" disc $350 with Integral Radio ($345 with Radio ERT)
1 1/2" disc     $600
Ultrasonic Style  
1 1/2" $710
2" $825
Magnetic Style  
2"  $2,300
3" $3,045
4"  $3,720
6"  $5,580
Turbo Style  
2" $1,545
3" $2,145
4" $2,990
6" $5,950
Larger than 6" or alternative styles Determined when ordered
Other Meter Related Fees     Cost 
Hydrant Meter*     $210
Repair of frozen or damaged meter

Depreciated value determined by time in service plus a $60 trip charge

Unauthorized use of Water $172.00/occurrence 
Unmetered use of Water $2.26/day plus $15.02/month 
Meter resetting fee $60
Customer Requested Meter Test     $95
Reconnect/Disconnect Fee     $60/trip

 NOTE:  Meter setting fees above include two service trips (one to set the temporary/construction meter, and one to set the permanent meter).  A fee of $60 will be charged for additional trips due to unexpected or inoperable curb boxes, incomplete remote wire installations, or other circumstances where the meter installation cannot be completed. 

Sewer Rates and Billing

Each user shall pay for services provided by the City based on his/her use of the treatment works as determined by water meter readings or other appropriate methods acceptable to the City.  The minimum charge shall be $10.71.  In addition, each user shall be billed $2.74 per 100 cu. ft. of usage.

For those users whose wastewater has a greater strength than normal domestic sewage, a surcharge in addition to the normal user surcharge will be collected.  The surcharge is as follows.

  • Oxygen Demand
    • $0.43 per pound of biochemical oxygen demand
    • $0.16 per pound of chemical oxygen demand
  • Solids
    • $0.63 per pound of suspended solids
  • Nitrogen
    • $1.51 per pound of ammonia
    • $0.98 per pound of Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN)
  • Fats, Oils, and Grease
    • $0.84/lb.

Fats, Oils, and Grease Fees (effective 7/1/2016)

  • Restaurant Surcharge - $2.54/100 cubic ft.
    • Surcharge on sewer use for customers operating Food Service Establishments
  • Restaurant Fee - $75.00/month
    • Fee for sewer use for customers operating Food Service Establishments which are not billed for sewer usage or whose sewer usage is not representative of the facilities food service activities.

Any user which discharges any toxic pollutants, as defined in the Sewer Use Ordinance, which cause an increase in the cost of managing the effluent or the sludge from the City's treatment works, or any user which discharges any substance which singly or by interaction with other substances causes identifiable increases in the cost of operation, maintenance, or replacement of the treatment works, shall pay for such increased costs.

Fees for the Water and Pollution Control Department, including high strength surcharge rates, are updated annually, usually in May.

There is no charge to Ames residents to dispose of RV or camper waste at the Ames WPC Plant.  There is also a dump station located at the rest stop just north of Ames on US I-35.  The plant also has facilities for commercial waste haulers.  The commercial waste hauler disposal rates are as follows:

Hauled Waste Charges -- Ames Locations*

Domestic/Residential Waste
$45.00/Load + $32.76/100 gallons ($63.21/cubic yard)

Restaurant Grease Traps
$45.00/Load + $26.38/100 gallons ($50.74/cubic yard)

Non-Domestic Waste
$45.00/Load + unit rate to be determined

* - Hauled waste from non-Ames locations are assessed a 15% surcharge.

The Ames Water Pollution Control Facility does not provide and does not intend to provide a hazardous waste disposal site for the citizens of Ames or the State of Iowa.

Typically, wastewater usage is based on potable water consumption.  The reading taken from the water meter is used to bill for both water and sewer.  There are some exceptions for large customers that install and maintain a separate wastewater meter.  Water meters are installed and maintained by the Water Meter Division.  Meter reading and billing are handled by the City of Ames Finance Department.  Any inquiries about billing, starting or stopping service, or similar questions should be directed to the Customer Service Division of the Finance Department at 515-239-5120. 

Last Updated: 06/30/2016

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