Everyone has many demands on his/her money: gas for the car, groceries, mortgage, “mad money,” and the list goes on. Paying for water and sewer service is one of them. The average Avon Lake Municipal Utilities (ALMU) residential customer pays $0.84 per day for water and sewer service. For less than the price of a cup of coffee, the average customer buys all of the water needed for his/her household to drink, cook, bathe, clean, and water plants. It’s even delivered! On top of that, all wastewater is taken from the house, treated, and returned to Lake Erie. Not bad for $0.84.
Some question how it can be done so inexpensively. In short: efficiency and economy of scale. With a full-time staff of 36, ALMU provides water to over 185,000 people in parts of five counties (Lorain, Medina, Erie, Huron and Ashland) and treats wastewater generated in Avon Lake and parts of Avon, Eaton Township, and Carlisle Township. Retail water and sewer services are provided to Avon Lake residents. Bulk water and sewer service is provided to the other jurisdictions, with the exception of Eaton and Carlisle Townships, where ALMU provides full contract services for the Lorain County Rural Wastewater District (LORCO).
For $0.84 per day, ALMU assures that the water meets all public health consumption standards, maintains and rehabilitates the distribution system to assure water is available when a customer turns on the tap or the fire department needs to fight a fire, improves the wastewater collection system to prevent sewage from being discharged directly to Lake Erie, treats wastewater to appropriate levels protective of public health and the environment, and performs a variety of other tasks.
The rates Avon Lake customers pay for these services are significantly below the state average. In fact, annual water and sewer bills published in the Ohio Environmental Protection Agency’s 2009 Sewer and Water Rate Survey show that the average Avon Lake customer pays about one-third what the average Ohioan pays for the same services (see graph).
News outlets have recently reported that Westlake may be interested in purchasing water from ALMU. ALMU’s business philosophy is that decisions are made to best balance quality, quantity, cost, and service. If a deal is negotiated, there would be significant benefits to ALMU customers. Westlake would potentially increase ALMU’s water sales by approximately 20 percent, which would increase economies of scale and further distribute future major expenditures. The net effect of this would be much lower rate increases over time.
Avon Lake Municipal Utilities is your water and sewer provider. Customers can call us during office hours (8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.) at 440-933-6226 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. For after-hours emergencies, call 440-933-3229. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter, or visit our website.
Our goal: Healthy customers, healthy environment through sustainable water management.