Frequently Asked Questions

Why do I receive a bill from NSWRD in addition to my municipal water and sewer bills?

Municipal water and sewer bills charge you for the water you receive and for operation and maintenance of the municipality's sewer lines, into which the plumbing system of your home or business discharges. Your payment of the water/sewer charge does not cover the costs of sewage treatment and disposal, which are provided only by NSWRD. Nor do any of the funds collected by the municipality through the sewer and water bills go to NSWRD. Thus, although NSWRD computes your sewage treatment charges on the basis of water usage data obtained from your water bill, it has nothing to do with providing or charging for the water itself. NSWRD only uses your water usage data to obtain the most reliable estimate of how much sewage you discharge.

How will my sewage treatment bill be computed if I have no water meter?

If you are a residential user with no water meter, your bill will be computed on the basis of the average water usage of similar residential users - unless you choose to install a water meter at your own expense. If you are a non-residential user with no water meter, you must install one at your own expense in order to receive NSWRD services.

What unit of measure will be used in determining the amount of sewage that is discharged?

NSWRD serves many municipalities. Some of these municipalities provide meters that register in gallons. Others provide meters that measure in cubic feet. Our system has been set up to send you a bill that uses the same unit of measure that is used by the municipality or agency that provides your water.

My water bill is estimated because nobody is at home during the day. How will my bill be determined?

Your bill will be based on the water usage information furnished to NSWRD by your water supplier. If your water supplier later adjusts the water usage amount, NSWRD will do the same.

If my usage is low, will I still be charged a minimum amount?

No. We will only bill you based on the amount of water that you use. Unlike some other utilities, we do not have a minimum amount that is billed nor do we have any hidden service charges.

During the summer, I use water outside my home. Will I be charged by NSWRD for this water which does not get treated?

Many customers use extra water in the summer which may not end up in the sewer system - water for lawns, gardens, swimming pools, and car washing. Accordingly, residential users receive a special summer credit. This credit is based on the difference between the amount of water you use on your average summer day and the amount of water you used on your average winter day based on bills from the previous winter. Your average summer day is based on water usage from May 1st through September 30th with your average winter day based on the remaining months. If you use more water in the winter than you do in the summer, you receive no credit but simply pay based on the amount of water you actually use during the summer.

There are two things to keep in mind about the summer credit. First, during the winter you will be billed on your actual usage. During the summer, you will either be billed on your actual usage or on your winter average, whichever is lower. Secondly, and most importantly, there is no need to sign up. Being a residential customer automatically qualifies you for the program. To learn more about the summer credit program, click on the following link: Information About Our Summer Credit Program.

Why do I pay taxes to NSWRD when I'm not connected to a municipal sewer?

As wastewater treatment services are of such vital importance for protecting our environment and public health, the District is mandated by the IEPA to maintain adequate treatment capacity to serve all properties and residents in the District whether or not they are connected to the system.

Therefore, all property owners in the District contribute to investments in new and upgraded equipment and infrastructure through the ad valorem (property) tax, since these capital facilities are required to be in place and available to serve customers if they choose to utilize NSWRD's services.

New customers connecting to the NSWRD are also required to pay a Capital Recovery Fee, consisting of a Connection Fee and an Annexation Fee. The Capital Recovery Fee pays for the reserve capacity of the District's facilities that is required to serve new customers. The Annexation Fee component of the Capital Recovery Fee ensures that new customers pay for their fair share of the capital improvements that existing customers have been paying for all along through the property tax levy.

Why do I pay taxes when I already pay a user charge bill?

The NSWRD works to strike a balance in funding its services through property taxes, which underwrite capital investments, and user fees, which pay for "day-to-day" costs. The acquisition of capital additions and costs attributable to the operation, maintenance, and replacement of equipment and infrastructure are funded through the ad valorem (property) tax.

User charge fees pay for the everyday operation and maintenance of the District's facilities.