THE UTILITY ADVISORY COMMISSION OF
OCEAN CITY NEW JERSEY
ABOUT YOUR WATER AND SEWER BILL
I have a problem with my water or sewer bill, who should I call?
New Jersey American Water makes every attempt to provide accurate billing. If you have questions related to your water or sewer bill, please contact New Jersey American Water’s 24-hour Customer Service Center at
I called New Jersey American Water about my sewer bill, and they told me to call the city. Why?
We have worked with New Jersey American Water management on this issue, and they have instructed their customer service representatives to answer questions from Ocean City customers and not to refer them back to Ocean City. If a customer service representative tells you to call the City, ask him/her if you could speak with a supervisor.
How is my water rate determined?
The cost of delivering high-quality, reliable water depends on a number of factors, including:
needed capital investments and the expense of operating and maintaining the water system
electricity used to pump the water from its source to homes and businesses
standards of quality and quantity, pressures and service set by federal and state officials as well as New Jersey American Water’s standards to protect the heath and welfare of our customers.
staffing costs, including salaries and benefits, for its technicians, water quality specialists, meter readers, administrative personnel and others who help run the water utility.
The rates charged by New Jersey American Water are approved by the New Jersey Board of Public Utilities.
What are the main components of the water bill?
Fixed Service Charge:The purpose of the monthly service charge is to recover the full cost of providing meter reading and billing, as well as the capital costs for providing the meter and related service line. The rate is based on the size of the meter. For residential customers who have a 5/8” meter, the service charge is $10.00 per month.
Volumetric Chargeis based on your water consumption or $5.7025 per 1,000 gallons since the last meter reading. These costs are related to operating and maintaining the source of supply, treatment and transmission facilities, as well as other general operating expenses.
Purchased Water Adjustment Clause (PWAC): The current PWAC rate $0.4022 per thousand gallons. New Jersey American Water purchases water from a number of water service providers to supplement its own surface water and groundwater supplies. While we take steps to minimize the amount of water we purchase, these supplies are critical to providing a reliable source of water supply for our customers. The PWAC enables New Jersey American Water to recover the costs related to purchasing water. The PWAC is reset on an annual basis (generally in August) and is adjusted to reflect current costs.
Why does New Jersey American Water charge for sewer service?
New Jersey American Water owns and maintains the collection system, or pipelines, that are used to collect sewage from homes and businesses in Ocean City and transfer it to the Cape May County Municipal Utilities Authority (CMCMUA). CMCMUA maintains the treatment plant, pumps and pipes necessary to treat and dispose of the collected sewage.
As such, New Jersey American Water is the “middle man” in the sewage collection, treatment, and disposal process and responsible to collect and charge for the entire sewage process. Approximately 63 percent of your sewer payment covers costs New Jersey American Water must pay to the CMCMUA to treat and dispose of the sewage generated in Ocean City. Each municipality using CMCMUA pays for the volume they send to be processed. The remaining 37 percent covers New Jersey American Water’s expenses to collect sewage and maintain the collection system.
What are the current sewer rates for wastewater?
Sewer Service Charge (Including PSTAC):$29.2258 per 1000 gallons of water usage billed at the property during the prior year’s summer quarter (July, August and September), but not less than $218.61 per year. This service charge is divided by 12 and is billed on each regular monthly bill. The service charge includes the Purchased Sewerage Treatment Adjustment Clause (PSTAC) charge. The PSTAC rate is $18.4508 per 1000 gallons, which is included in the above Service Charge. The total PSTAC fee represents approximately 63 percent of the Service Charge. The service charge includes the capital investment in the wastewater collection system pipelines and service lines and the majority of costs for the operation and maintenance of those systems.
Volume Charge:$1.8144 per 1000 gallons ($1.35717 per 100 cubic feet).This is based on the amount of water used since your last meter reading. This represents costs not included in the service charge. Sewer processing charges vary with the volume of water used and the cost of supplies to process the sewage.
What is the purpose of the PSTAC?
The PSTAC reflects the costs that New Jersey American Waterpays to CMCMUA for treating the wastewater. Each year (generally in August), the PSTAC is reset and may increase or decrease depending on different factors, including the amount of wastewater sent to the sewage treatment plants and the CMCMUA costs associated with treating and disposing of the sewage. The current rate is $18.4508 per thousand gallons. The total PSTAC fee is included within the Sewer Service Charge on your bill. The PSTAC currently represents approximately 63 percent of the Sewer Service Charge.
Why is this year’s sewer service charge based on last year’s summer quarter usage?
The CMCMUA designed the 45th street treatment plant to handle the tremendous peak flows generated during the summer, in turn, the CMCMUA develops its annual user charge to New Jersey American Water and other participants for the coming year, based primarily on each participant’s portion of the water usage billed during the summer quarter (July, August and September) of the previous year. Our Sewer Service Charge is structured on the same basis, and ensures that everyone will share proportionately in the CMCMUA’s costs of owning and operating their sewer treatment facilities.
Why am I billed for service when I am not there?
Service charges are billed to all customers regardless of the volume of water used. You may only be a summer resident and will not have any water service or water volume, but you are still billed for the sewer service charge.
The annual Sewer Service Charge is based on the water usage billed during the prior summer quarter (July, August and September) and covers the fixed costs to provide the sewer service. New Jersey American Water realizes that this annual charge could be burdensome to some customers if full payment were required once a year. That’s why the billing plan spreads this payment equally over a 12-month period, so that customers are billed 1/12th of this charge each month throughout the calendar year. The sewer service charge represents New Jersey American Water’s fixed costs to operate and maintain the collection system and collect the sewage, as well as the fee billed by the CMCMUA to treat, and dispose of the sewage.
Sewer service charge calculation for 2011
Add up your total monthly water usage recorded during the summer quarter (July, August and September).
Multiply the total used by the rate per thousand gallons.
Divide that figure by 12 for your monthly service charge.
Sample Sewer Charge Calculation
July 12 (thousand gallons)
August 4 (thousand gallons)
September 2 (thousand gallons)
18 (thousand gallons)
18 x $29.2258 (rate per 1,000 gallons) = $526.06
$526.06 / 12 months = $43.84 per month