What is Extra Strength Charge?
The City of Bend collects and treats nearly all of the wastewater generated in Bend and charges sewer rates to recover the cost of providing this service. Not all sewer customers generate the same flow and concentration of wastewater. The City has a volume charge that recovers cost based on amount of flow. The City recently developed the new Extra Strength Charge (ESC) to recover cost based on concentration of wastewater. The ESC is intended to fairly assign costs. Without this charge, all ratepayers must share the cost of treating extra strength wastewater created by a portion of the City’s sewer customers.
An ESC is assigned to businesses that generate a high concentration of pollutants such as Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD)* and Total Suspended Solids (TSS)* in their wastewater discharged to the wastewater treatment system. In other words, if a business generates wastewater that has more pollutants in it than a typical household generates, then the business pays for the additional cost of cleaning or treating that extra strength wastewater. A variety of business types generate extra strength wastewater such as restaurants, bakeries, breweries, and commercial laundries.
ESC Program History
The City, with the assistance of the ESC Advisory Group, adopted a new program in Spring 2014 with charges in effect beginning July 1, 2015. The objectives of this program are twofold: pollution prevention and cost recovery. The City works collaboratively with businesses to conduct pretreatment where ever possible to keep sewer costs low and protect investment in the wastewater treatment system Below are documents that you need to understand the new program. For questions, call Christina Davenport at (541) 323-8540.
- ESC Program
- Category Table - Updated January 29, 2015
- ESC Monitored Program
- Current ESC Rates
- Reclassification Application
- Frequently Asked Questions
ESC Program Revision Process - 2014 Video
*The BOD test indicates the amount of oxygen that is required to reduce the strength of the pollution to an acceptable level, and the TSS indicates how much visible matter is in the wastewater that will need to be separated at the treatment plant.