City Council reduces late fee charges
The City Council has approved lowering the fee for late payments for most water customers. The reduction from $25 to 15 percent of the amount due averages $20.84 for the 60,000 accounts that typically paid late in 2017.
The change will take effect June 1. Beginning on that date, water bill payments will be due 25 days after the billing date, three days earlier than current policy. The shorter payment cycle will ensure late fees appear on the bills to which they apply.
The City Council will consider final approval of the changes April 17.
The Council initiated the change at the request of customers. The change will reduce the water utility’s revenue about $250,000 per year.
Water Utilities Director Allison Strube reported to the City Council the water utility’s fund balance – unspent revenue from prior years – is projected to be $4.5 million at the end of the current fiscal year on Sept. 30. That is below the goal of $5.9 million, which represents 75 days of operating expense for the utility.
Water bill payments can be accepted:
- Online at cosatx.us/waterbill.
- Via an automatic monthly bank draft.
- By calling 325-657-4323.
- By mailing checks to P.O. Box 5820, San Angelo, TX 76902.
- In person at 301 W. Beauregard Ave.
Earn a $50 water bill credit
San Angelo’s Water Utilities Department is seeking homeowners to participate in a free household water-quality testing program ... and is willing to give a $50 credit on water bills for those who do.
The program will check homes’ water and plumbing for the presence of lead and copper. The state requires the testing as a public health safety measure. San Angelo has had zero violations.
The Texas Commission for Environmental Quality requires the Water Utilities Department to increase the program and number of test sites to 100 homes now that San Angelo’s population has surpassed 100,000 residents.
To participate in the program, homeowners must first verify whether their home has lead plumbing, lead-based solder or a lead service line to the City’s water main. Homes built from 1982 to 1988 are most likely to have lead in their lines.
To check for a lead service line or lead plumbing, find the water service line that enters a home from the City water main. Scratch the outside of the water line with a screwdriver, knife or other metal object. If the etch is silver-gray in color, it is likely a lead service line. If it is copper-colored, it likely does not contain lead. To determine if a home has lead plumbing lines, check the inside plumbing under a kitchen or bathroom sink the same way one would check for a lead service line.
Homeowners who confirm their home has either lead-based plumbing or a lead service line will qualify to participate in this study. Contact the Water Utilities Department at 325-481-2722 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Current drought level
The City is in standard conservation, which restricts outside watering to no more than twice every seven days and no more than 1 inch per week. Watering is prohibited from noon-6 p.m., as is runoff of more than 150 feet down any street, gutter, alley or ditch.
Of the City Council's five approved priorities, water tops that list. Learn more by clicking here.
Click here for water rates.
The Water Utilities Department administers the eight divisions that make up the "water department." Those divisions are:
Water Conservation educates the public on how it can make the most efficient use of San Angelo's public water supply in an effort to conserve and preserve the community's most precious natural resource.
Water Customer Service
Water Customer Service assists citizens in signing up and paying for the utility services provided through the City of San Angelo: water, sewer and trash pickup.
Water Distribution provides maintenance, preventative maintenance, construction and emergency repair to all water and sewer lines throughout the City of San Angelo.
Water Production is responsible for producing high-quality drinking water that meets safe drinking water standards and in sufficient quantities to supply the needs of the citizens and businesses of San Angelo. This is done by operating raw water supply facilities, treating the potable water supply and operating high service and remote pumping stations and tanks.
The mission of Water Quality is to analyze and evaluate the quality of the source water, treated water and wastewater for compliance with state-mandated water quality standards.
Water Reclamation treats wastewater from the City of San Angelo to remove pollutants and to produce an environmentally safe water that meets state permit requirements. All of the reclaimed water is utilized for irrigation.
Water Utilities Maintenance
Water Utilities Maintenance provides maintenance, preventative maintenance and construction to all water and wastewater treatment plants, water pump stations, water storage tanks, wastewater lift-stations, more than 150 grinder pumps, the Sewer Farm pump station, Nasworthy Dam, Nasworthy irrigation canal, Twin Buttes Dam, and the Spence pipeline, water tanks and pump stations.
Hickory Aquifer project moves ahead
There’s a sense of urgency to develop the Hickory Aquifer to the full capacity San Angelo is allowed – for two reasons.
One, we need the water. Whenever San Angelo needs its full allocation of Hickory water, we want the infrastructure in place to pump, transport and treat it. The final phase of the Hickory’s development will involve drilling up to seven more wells and growing treatment capacity from 8 million gallons per day to 12 million.
Two, the City remains committed to selling the Ford Ranch, which sits atop the aquifer. The City last year purchased the ranch for about $43 million. That move protected San Angelo’s stake in a vital water source. The City expects to recoup much of that investment by selling the ranch, but we want to complete the infrastructure construction before placing it on the market.
This year, we’ll also begin analyzing potential improvements to the sewer system around Lake Nasworthy. The system is at max capacity, which limits economic development at the lake and nearby San Angelo Regional Airport.
The system is a complex network of hundreds of grinders, some 26 lift stations (which moves sewage from one line to another) and many miles of mains. Those lines pump their contents from one station to the next, before finally dumping into mains that rely upon gravity to move sewage.
Upgrading Nasworthy’s sewer system and growing its capacity will cost millions.
That project is a small part of a larger effort to improve our system’s infrastructure. This consists primarily of replacing mains that have surpassed their recommended life spans. We estimate the needs, including at both of San Angelo’s treatment plants, exceed $100 million each for water and sewer.
That’s daunting, but we expect to make significant headway this year. All of the water and sewer mains beneath Bell Street will be replaced as that roadway is rebuilt. And a long overdue effort to replace a sewer line in the Santa Rita neighborhood will also happen this year.