How To Reduce A Sewer Bill: Things To Know

Last Updated On June 12, 2024

Updated on August 30, 2022



Reviewed by

how to reduce sewer bill

Did you know we can save thousands of dollars every year by learning how to lower our sewer bill? It’s true.

While the monthly invoice may not be too costly, the amount we can spend per year can start to add up. 

The sewer company can meter the amount of waste that flows out of our home daily and charge us accordingly. This invoice usually comes to our mailbox as a monthly sewer bill. 

Other times it’s combined with our water bill.

What's In This Guide?

      What Is A Sewer Bill?

      Until we have a sewer backup or any other raw sewage emergency, flushing our toilets and draining our wastewater is often something we take for granted. 

      We don’t hesitate to call the sewer company. By the way, the sewer company is often the municipality in most cases.

      The sewer company is a running business. Like the local water company and garbage trucks, it provides us with a service we absolutely must have. 

      These companies have a lot of employees working behind the scenes. A faulty sewer system can turn into an expensive fix. 

      The local sewer company, often the city, can’t afford any delays with raw sewage. 

      For the sewer company to be able to provide fast and thorough service, they need funds to operate. 

      From paying their employees to supplying all the necessary replacement parts and sewer pipe, the sewer company relies on paying customers to upkeep the city’s sewer system. 

      Here is a great video explaining how the city sewer system works. 

      Why Am I Charged For Water and Sewer On My Bill?

      Our water company and local sewer companies are two separate entities. 

      We usually get charged independently for the water coming into our home and the waste that we dispose of down our drains and toilets. 

      The sewer system runs from our house, under our yard, and through an intricate web of pipes that usually leads to a sewage treatment plant. 

      This system and the treatment facility can be extremely costly. The water company also has a facility with a fleet of technicians working at all times. 

      They will also send a utility bill for their services to maintain clean water in our home.

      What Is The Sewer Portion Of My Bill, And How Can I Reduce This?

      We may think to ourselves, “what is the sewer portion of my bill,” when a single invoice arrives in our mail for sewer and water together. 

      We also want to know how to reduce it. Just like we reduce our water usage to save on our monthly water bill, we can utilize the same habits to save on the sewer portion of our bills. 

      A few simple ways to save money are by taking shorter showers and installing water-saving flush valve assemblies on our toilets. 

      Running our washing machine and dishwasher when they are completely full is another way that we can save money on the sewer portion of our bill. 

      Limiting our water consumption will allow us to see a dramatic change to the sewer portion of our bill. It will also help with our water bill. 

      How Is A Sewer Bill Calculated?

      The way that most sewage treatment facilities bill out is by multiplying our water consumption by 0.95. Meaning they charge us 95% of the cost of the water we consume. 

      There is not typically a separate meter to measure the flow of waste that flows through our sewer lines, so it’s adjusted to match how much water we bring into our house. 

      What Is The Average Cost For A Water And Sewer Bill?

      The average cost of water and sewer bills can vary depending on where we live. 

      The national average can drastically change from one state to another. While some people are used to paying upwards of $140 per month for sewer alone, some pay that in entire years worth of monthly sewer bills. 

      This doesn’t include their water bill. 

      Why Is My Sewer Bill So High?

      While the cost of our sewer bill shouldn’t fluctuate too much from month to month, we should always keep an eye on our invoices. 

      If you have a lot of residents living inside your home, the cost is going to increase. If you notice a spike in your sewer bill without good reason, you may want to look for any possible leaks or running toilets. 

      Some cities have high sewer charges and we must save everywhere possible. 

      Tips For How To Lower A Sewer Bill

      A few good habits can be all it takes to lower our sewer bill and save hundreds of dollars each year. 

      If the amount we get charged on our sewer bill is calculated by averaging the amount of water we consume, then we can simply focus on our water usage to save. 

      From taking showers, washing our hands, and brushing our teeth, we can use a lot of water each day if we aren’t careful.  

      We can have a positive impact on our monthly bills if we can cut down the amount of time we spend on each of these tasks. If we need help remembering, timers are a great way to limit how long our faucets are running. 

      Doing fewer loads of laundry and only running the dishwasher when it’s full can help us achieve a lower sewer bill.

      Did you know? The amount we’re charged for sewer is calculated by the amount of water we use. By limiting our water consumption, we also lower our sewer bill.

      did you know how to reduce sewer bill

      How To Reduce Your Sewer Bill In A Single-Family Home

      Getting ourselves into water-saving habits might not be a problem for us as individuals, but how can we reduce our sewer bill in a single-family house, full of people?  

      Water-saving devices are a must while living in a house with multiple faucets and toilets all in use at different times. 

      From our faucets, flushers, and hose bibs, we need to pay close attention to our water usage to reduce our sewer bill. 

      Other great ways to save are by skipping the rinse cycles on our dish and clothes washers. 

      It’s crucial to investigate our homes for any plumbing leaks and that everyone is turning everything off completely. The most common culprits are found in the bathroom, such as a leak that causes your toilet to run and not fill back up.

      How To Lower Sewer Bill In Apartment

      Replacing the plumbing fixtures might not be an option when we live in an apartment. We still have a few options to lower our sewer bill. 

      Like in all other cases, our water intake can drastically affect the average price of our sewer bill. 

      Limiting ourselves to shorter showers and flushing the toilet less often is an obvious way to create less wastewater. 

      A laundry mat can save us money on our sewer bill as well.

      What Happens if You Don’t Pay Your Sewer Bill?

      If we don’t pay the sewer rate, the sewer company can simply turn a valve out by the street and close the secondary pipe leading from our home. 

      It doesn’t take long for the wastewater to back into our toilets, tubs, and sinks. In the worst-case scenario, the city can condemn our place of residence for being unsanitary. Of course, this is extreme but it shows the power the city has over you if you’re not on a septic tank.

      It gets even crazier tho. What if the main sewer shut-off didn’t get installed during construction?

      When the city notices an unpaid bill, they can dig up our yard and install a brand new sewer main shutoff right then and there. This would never happen without notice, but it goes to show that the city has rights when it comes to collecting unpaid sewer bills.

      In this instance, we not only have to pay the overdue amount, but we are also on the hook for the cost of the new shut-off installation. 

      The obvious way to avoid extra charges to our sewer bill is by paying it on time, but how can we reduce our standard sewer bill each month? 

      An even better question might be, “why are we getting charged to dispose of our waste?”

      Final Thoughts On Reducing A Sewer Bill

      The sewer system and billing setup can differ depending on where we live. 

      One thing that every area has in common is reducing our water usage seems to be the ultimate way to save money on our sewer bills. 

      We don’t like paying for the disposal of our raw sewage, but we wouldn’t want to live in a world without a sewer system. 

      The sewer is a basic necessity like water and electricity. We will always pay for it because we can live without it. 

      With all the newest water-saving features in the plumbing industry, it’s easy to save water and money. 

      With dedication, planning, and a bit of focus, we can all form new water conservation habits to save money on our sewer bills. Ultimately, we’d help create less waste altogether.

      Sewer Bill FAQs

      What is the average sewer bill in California?

      The median public sewer bill in California is about $18 for large metro areas. Small towns under a thousand people can expect to pay around $40 per month.

      What is the average sewer bill in Texas?

      The wastewater charge in Texas is based on an average of 5000 gallons worth of water usage. This totals to an average of $30.67 per month.

      What is the average sewer bill in Chicago?

      The average sewer bill in Chicago is assessed off of a rate of $.295 per 1000 gallons of water.

      What is the average sewer bill in North Carolina?

      The average sewer bill in North Carolina averages out to $25.85. This can vary on the population size of your area.

      What is the average sewer bill in New York?

      The trash disposal and sewer are usually incorporated into our monthly rent in New York. It would cost an average of $20 if billed separately.

      Meet Your Plumbing Navigator

      Plumbing Navigator: plumbing advice

      About Plumbing Navigator

      We’re passionate about all things plumbing, and love sharing tips, “how-to”, and reviewing the latest products to help make your project a success!

      Learn More Plumbing Tips

      Want to tackle more plumbing projects? Check out these helpful guides!

      best water heater stand
      tankless water heater flush kit
      best mesh drain strainer
      Best Shower Drain Cover

      Got Plumbing Questions? Search For In-Depth Answers Below!

      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about "all things plumbing," helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

      About Plumbing Navigator

      We write about “all things plumbing,” helping you navigate common questions, repairs, and the best plumbing products on the market.

      Recently Published Guides