- Is Arapahoe County Water and Wastewater Authority (ACWWA) a governmental agency?
- How is the Board of Directors formed?
- What is the ACWWPID?
- Does ACWWA serve water to all of Arapahoe County?
- How can I keep up to date on board meetings and events at ACWWA?
Rates, Fees, and bills
- How are our water rates determined?
- How are sewer rates determined?
- What do the abbreviations on the bills mean?
- If my property is being rented, how do I authorize ACWWA to release account information and copies of the monthly bills to the tenant?
- Can I set-up automatic monthly payments on my account?
- Is there a fee associated with using your EFT service?
- How do I start EFT to pay my bill?
- How long does it take for EFT to start after I submit my form?
- Can ACWWA automatically debit my credit or debit card each month?
- How much will be automatically deducted from my bank account each month?
- Why are my rates higher than surrounding areas?
- Why are fixed rates high?
Water and Wastewater
- Is there lead in my drinking water, and if so what can I do about it?
- What is reclaimed water?
- Is reclaimed water safe?
- Why do we use reclaimed water and what are the benefits of reuse?
- Should I put my used cooking grease down the drain?
- Are baby wipes flushable?
Lawn Watering Schedules
- Will customers be assessed fines/penalties if they don’t follow the schedule?
- If there is no enforcement, why is ACWWA bothering with the schedule?
- I’ve heard watering schedules don’t actually save any water, is this true?
- My irrigation clock can’t handle an “every 3rd day” irrigation schedule. What should I do?
- My neighbor is watering in the middle of the day, is that against the rules?
- I don’t use ACWWA water for my irrigation needs, I have a well. Will the “Water Police” issue me a warning or fine?
A: Yes, ACWWA represents a cooperative effort among public entities to provide water, wastewater and stormwater service in portions of Arapahoe County, within the boundaries of the Arapahoe County Water and Wastewater Public Improvement District (the “PID”), and within other areas as permitted by law. In 1988, the County and the Arapahoe Water and Sanitation District (“AWSD”) entered into a contract (see “The Establishing Contract,” below) establishing ACWWA as a separate governmental entity to develop water resources, systems and facilities, and wastewater treatment and disposal systems and facilities in whole or in part for the benefit of the residents of the PID, the County, and others.
Q: How is the Board of Directors formed?
A: The ACWWA Board is appointed by the Arapahoe County Board of Commissioners.
A: The ACWWA Public Improvement District (PID) is a taxing unit of Arapahoe County and a political subdivision of the State created pursuant to the District Act for the purpose of providing the construction of water and sanitary sewer improvements. Formation of the PID was initiated by a group of property owners who filed a petition (the “Petition”) for the PID’s organization in accordance with the requirements of the District Act. The Petition was approved by the Arapahoe County Commissioners on July 10, 2001, pursuant to a resolution (the “Approval Resolution”), and the matter of the PID’s formation was submitted to the district’s electors on November 6, 2001. Following a successful election, the PID was formed on December 4, 2001, pursuant to a resolution adopted by the Arapahoe Commissioners. The boundaries of the PID overlap with a portion of City of Centennial and a small portion of the Town of Foxfield. As required by the District Act, the formation of the PID was approved by the City of Centennial on June 21, 2001. In addition, as required by the District Act, on November 25, 2003, the Douglas County Board of Commissioners consented to the inclusion within the PID of approximately 117 acres of property located in Douglas County.
Q: Does ACWWA serve water to all of Arapahoe County?
A: No, there are a number of water providers that serve water within Arapahoe County as well as households who provide their individual water supply by way of a groundwater well.
Q: How can I keep up to date on board meetings and events at ACWWA?
A: ACWWA board meetings are open to the public and are held the second Wednesday of each month, at 9:00 a.m., at the ACWWA offices, 13031 E. Caley Ave. Other events are posted outside our building and are often advertised on our website www.arapahoewater.org.
Q: How are our water rates determined?
A: ACWWA’s water rates are formulated using methodologies developed by the American Water Works Association, a nationally recognized water industry group. The method develops rates based on the cost of providing service to various classes of customers. For ACWWA these classes include residential and commercial/industrial. In large part, the cost of providing service to a customer class depends on the demand characteristics of that class, e.g. maximum day delivery demands, annual volume used, etc. In addition, water rate development also considers the fact that not all of ACWWA’s water customers are located in the ACWWPID property taxing area, contractual obligations that ACWWA has with various neighborhoods (Chapparal, Antelope, Foxfield, etc.), and commitments made to the holders of ACWWA’s bond debt. Finally, the water rate structure reflects ACWWA’s efforts to promote water conservation. The rate structure, commonly called an inclining block, charges more for increased water usage.
Q: How are sewer rates determined?
A: ACWWA’s sewer rates are formulated using methodologies developed by the Water Environment Federation, a nationally recognized industry group for wastewater industry. Similar to water rates, the method develops rates based on the cost of providing service to ACWWA’s customer classes (residential and commercial/industrial). Here the cost of providing service depends on the volume of waste discharged to ACWWA’s sewer system, the strength of that waste, and the cost of conducting ACWWA’s Industrial Pretreatment Program. The cost for this EPA-required program is recovered from the commercial/industrial class.
The sewer rate structure also reflects ACWWA’s efforts to promote water conservation. While customers are charged on the basis of their indoor water usage, they are charged for all water used indoors. So, if less water is used indoors, sewer bills are lower.
Q: What do the abbreviations on the bills mean?
- FL – Firelne Monthly Fee
- SX – Sewer Monthly Service Fee
- WX – Water Monthly Service Fee
- WI – Monthly Water System Investment Fee
- WA – Water Meter – Consumption
- SW – Sewer Meter – Consumption
- IR – Irrigation Meter – Consumption
Q: If my property is being rented, how do I authorize ACWWA to release account information and copies of the monthly bills to the tenant?
A: Simply download the Account Authorization Form and follow the instructions.
Q: Can I set-up automatic monthly payments on my account?
A: Yes, ACWWA does offer monthly automatic debit or Electronic Funds Transfer (EFT) service to both our residential and commercial customers.
Q: Is there a fee associated with using your EFT service?
A: No, EFT service is free to all customers.
Q: How do I start EFT to pay my bill?
A: Simply download the EFT Form and follow the instructions.
Q: How long does it take for EFT to start after I submit my form?
A: Typically, it takes up to 2 months before EFT begins. Please read the details at the bottom of the EFT form to avoid missed or late payments while your EFT request is being processed.
Q: Can ACWWA automatically debit my credit or debit card each month?
A: Currently, ACWWA is only able to debit your checking account or savings account directly using the EFT, not your Debit or Credit Card. However, Debit/Credit cards are accepted using the Online Bill Payment website.
Q: How much will be automatically deducted from my bank account each month?
A: Our EFT program will automatically deduct your monthly balance due in full as indicated on your monthly bill.
Q: Why are my rates higher than surrounding areas?
A: Comparing rates with surrounding areas is always difficult. Agencies like Aurora and Denver are long-time water providers. They were able to secure major portions of their renewable water resource needs decades ago at comparatively lower costs when there was less competition for such limited resources. Therefore, their customers enjoy surface water supplies that are entirely renewable. ACWWA, on the other hand, is in the process of transitioning from a deep ground water supply (an ever-diminishing resource) to a surface water supply at a time when there is keen competition for that limited resource. As a result, ACWWA’s costs are higher and its rates are higher. Further, large agencies such as Aurora and Denver also benefit from economies-of-scale in the day-to-day operations.
ACWWA’s rates are somewhat higher than other small water districts. ACWWA believes that this is a timing issue. Unlike ACWWA, these other districts have yet to commit themselves to acquisition of surface water supplies to replace their diminishing deep ground water supply. When they do, their rates are likely to rise to meet financial reality.
Q: Why are fixed rates high?
A: ACWWA’s water and sewer rates both include a fixed monthly charge and a volume charge that varies with metered use. From a cost standpoint, more than 75% of ACWWA’s costs are fixed. In other words, a major portion of costs do not vary with water demand. Further, a significant part of these costs are for repayment of bonds–funds borrowed by ACWWA to acquire surface water supplies and build treatment facilities for its customers. These repayment obligations must be met and represent a large portion of the fixed charges that appear on monthly water bills.
Q: Is there lead in my drinking water, and if so what can I do about it?
A: ACWWA has not detected lead in the treated water leaving our plant or in the source water. However, lead can come from the customers plumbing. According to the EPA, two types of homes may be at risk for lead contamination:
- Homes that are very old (pre-WWII) with lead services or pipe lines; and
- Homes that were built between 1982 and 1987, which used copper pope with lead based solder. Lead based solder was banned from use on domestic drinking water plumbing in 1987.
Here are some ways to reduce your exposure to lead:
- When water has been standing in your pipes, run the cold water tap until the water gets noticeably colder. The lower temperature indicates you have cleared the water that has been standing in the pipes.
- Use only water from the cold water tap for drinking, cooking, and for making baby formula. Hot tap water dissolves lead faster and is likely to contain higher levels of lead if present.
- When repairing or replacing plumbing, insist on lead free solder and lead free fixtures.
Q: What is reclaimed water?
A: Reclaimed water is wastewater that has undergone additional treatment, making it suitable for reuse applications. Common synonyms for reclaimed water include “reuse water,” “recycled water,” and “reclaimed domestic wastewater.” RMWEA/RMSAWWA Reuse Committee
Q: Is reclaimed water safe?
A: Reclaimed water undergoes treatment and disinfection to ensure the production of a continuous and reliable supply of high-quality water. Individual states’ environmental and/or health departments determine the necessary levels of treatment for different nonpotable uses. These agencies may also enforce strict usage requirements upon users of reclaimed water. If you come in contact with reclaimed water, take the same precautions as you would around water from ponds or streams, including common sense personal hygiene measures. RMWEA/RMSAWWA Reuse Committee
Q: Why do we use reclaimed water and what are the benefits of reuse?
A: Water is a limited resource, especially in the arid west. The use of reclaimed water is an important part of managing and conserving this limited resource. It can help conserve potable water, recharge groundwater, and postpone the development of new water sources and supplies through costly investments such as wells, dams, reservoirs and pipelines. Using reclaimed water can also save money and provide aesthetic value. RMWEA/RMSAWWA Reuse Committee
Q: Should I put my used cooking grease down the drain?
A: Fats, Oils and Grease (FOG) are the cause of approximately 90% of all Sanitary Sewer Overflows. There are a few things residents can do to keep Sanitary Sewers flowing smoothly.
- Pour hot grease into a container that can hold hot liquid (I use a coffee cup) until it solidifies, and then dispose of in the trash. Vegetable oil (stays in a liquid form) can be discharged to the sewer.
- Scrape off dishes into the trash. Food solids can build up in sewer pipes causing back-ups and overflows.
- Remember that modern dishwashers are very efficient. If you have scraped off the food solids into the trash there should be no need to prewash your dishes.
Q: Are baby wipes flushable?
A: No, Baby Wipes are becoming one of the biggest problems facing wastewater districts around the country. These wipes catch on rough spots in sewers and act as a seed for clogs to start forming. Most sewer systems use pumps to lift sewage and move it along the lines. Baby wipes and other types of rags can bind up in these pumps and shut them down.
Q: What is ACWWA doing about Water Conservation?
A: SACWWA has been proactive in its water conservation efforts but is looking to do more! ACWWA, in conjunction with various other agencies, has been developing efforts to get water conservation information and education out to our children and in a regional effort, getting a consistent message out to everyone that water conservation is very important. Also, in 2006, ACWWA developed a Water Conservation Plan approved by the Colorado Water Conservation Board (CWCB). Only about 25% of water providers in Colorado have an approved plan with the State. And in 2010, ACWWA developed a Water Conservation Program that puts many of the components identified in the CWCB Water Conservation Plan into action. This also adds additional components with the intent to reduce overall water usage in our service area. Please visit the Water Conservation website for more information.
Q: Is ACWWA offering any rebates this year?
A: YES, visit the Rebate Program website for more information.
Q: Will customers be assessed fines/penalties if they don’t follow the schedule?
A: This year ACWWA will not impose fines or penalties specifically regarding the lawn watering schedule. In future years or if conditions change, this policy could be modified.
Q: If there is no enforcement, why is ACWWA bothering with the schedule?
A: Here are some reasons for implementing the Lawn Watering Schedule:
- The Lawn Watering Schedule will help regulate water use by our customers. During the irrigation season, outdoor watering dominates water usage. A lawn watering schedule will help smooth the demand patterns (when the water is used during the week). ACWWA considered imposing penalties/fines for non-compliance, but due to the economic conditions and other factors, ACWWA decided against implementing these enforcement methods this year.
- ACWWA wants its customers to understand that by following the schedule, they contribute to ACWWA’s system being run most efficiently. This will lead to better service and less upward pressure on rates in the future.
Q: I’ve heard watering schedules don’t actually save any water, is this true?
A: Watering Schedules by themselves don’t necessarily save water, but they can play a part in water conservation. The purpose of their use for ACWWA customers is more for regulating water use. If every customer watered on the same day at the same time, that would cause peaks in demand, which eventually would cause ACWWA to plan for and build higher capacity facilities to handle the demand. By using Watering Schedules, ACWWA can regulate, thus saving in potential construction/operation costs.
Q: My irrigation clock can’t handle an “every 3rd day” irrigation schedule. What should I do?
A: Most irrigation clocks have the capabilities to handle an “every 3rd day” watering schedule. However, there are some older clocks that do not. As ACWWA develops its Water Conservation Program, it will take these capabilities into account.
Q: My neighbor is watering in the middle of the day, is that against the rules?
A: Currently, there are no restrictions regarding time of use, however, this is being reviewed as part of our Water Conservation Program. Watering in the heat of the day is less efficient than in evenings or during the night, when temperatures are cooler and the winds have died down.
Q: I don’t use ACWWA water for my irrigation needs, I have a well. Will the “Water Police” issue me a warning or fine?
A: ACWWA will not impose fines or penalties to those users who irrigate from their private well. ACWWA strongly encourages all water users to conserve water regardless of where the water originates from.