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City raising sewer rates again

Kingston Springs is raising sewer rates again in order to pay for higher costs to operate, maintain and repair its wastewater treatment system.

How much extra the town’s 750 sewer customers will have to pay depends on how much water they use.

Under the new rate structure, which the Kingston Springs Board of Commissioners passed on first reading June 15, there will be a base fee of $40 a month for the first 1,000 gallons of water. Customers would pay an additional $10 per 1,000 gallons if they use 1,001 to 12,000 gallons of water. The rate goes up to $14 per 1,000 gallons for usage over 12,000 gallons.

The one-time fee for new sewer service will increase from the current $50 to $75 for residential customers and $150 for commercial customers.

Under the new rate structure, the sewer system’s annual operating revenue will increase to around $637,500, up from about $490,000 this year – a 30 percent increase.

By law, the costs of running the town’s sewer system must be paid for by its customers, not taxpayers in general. The new rate structure was designed to cover those costs, which are going up as the system’s infrastructure ages.

The system was established in 1989. It includes a wastewater treatment plant on 9.5 acres with three lagoons, plus 12 pump stations located across the system that push wastewater to the treatment plant. The treated wastewater goes into the Harpeth River.

The Kingston Springs Water Treatment Plant / Kent Hoover

Last year the commission explored the idea of selling the system to a private company, but rejected that option after getting negative feedback from the public.

One of the challenges the sewer system faces is the inflow of surface water from rainstorms and infiltration of groundwater into sewer pipes through holes and other openings. The town plans to install a Supervisory Control and Data Acquisition system that will measure flows at each of the system’s pump stations and report them to a central computer, so that operators can identify where there are problems.

“It will allow us to monitor each of these pump stations remotely,” said City Manager John Lawless.



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