By Kris Leonhardt
MARSHFIELD — Marshfield residents’ wastewater charges may increase following a recommendation brought forward by the Board of Public Works.
The board approved the recommendation after a presentation of the 2017 Wastewater Rate Review by Phil Severson of Strand Associates Inc.
“The water billing volumes for the wastewater utility over the years we have done this rate review, we have seen a decline as well as a recent uptick in water volume for billing. However, this past year through half of 2017, there has been an 8 percent decline,” said Severson. “A substantial portion of that is the result of one of the large industrial users making efforts to perform to pretreatment, reduce its discharges and its loadings as well to the treatment plant.”
Severson stated that the needed 1 percent increase would amount to 45 cents more per month to Marshfield residential users.
Alderman Ed Wagner stated the decreased usage necessitated a higher price to continue to support operation costs.
“Our water use rates are linked to our discharge rates,” Wagner said. “In other words we’re charging basically one-for-one for what the water company bills the house for the water usage. If they use 1,000 gallons a month, we are billing them for 1,000 gallons of discharge. Right?
“So if that goes down, in order to maintain the plant, we’ve got to raise the price. Right? And that’s where the 45 cents comes in.
“I think this is about the smallest increase I’ve seen in the last 10 years or so.”
The recommendation was unanimously approved by the Board of Public Works and went before the Marshfield Common Council Oct. 24.