Plants Earn Performance Awards
All five of Charlotte’s wastewater treatment plants recently received Peak Performance Awards from the National Association of Clean Water Agencies (NACWA). A significant achievement, these awards recognize wastewater treatment professionals for protecting the environment and public health.
During 2010, 7,217 water samples were tested for compliance, with each sample representing a potential permit violation. Four of the plants had zero violations and one had less than five for the year, an exceptional effort with outstanding results.
The plants were awarded as follows:
-- McDowell Creek WWTP earned a Platinum Award for a third year, totaling seven consecutive years of
-- Mallard Creek WWTP received a Platinum Award for six consecutive years of perfect compliance.
-- McAlpine Creek WWTP received its third consecutive Gold Award for perfect compliance during the year.
-- Sugar Creet WWTP won a Gold Award for perfect compliance during the year.
-- Irwin Creek WWTP earned a Silver Award for five or fewer violations ina one-year period.
Wastewater Performance Report Released
CMUD customers will receive the annual Wastewater Performance Report in their bills this month. The report summarizes sewer overflows, wastewater treatment and helps educate customers on the importance of proper grease disposal.
Smart Irrigation Incentives in Place
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities has started a new program designed to encourage customers to install and use smart irrigation controllers as well as separate irrigation meters.
Smart controllers - which can reduce water consumption by
20 to 40 percent - take weather satellite data in combination with plant and site conditions to alter the amount of water used for irrigation based on site-specific conditions.
Beginning July 1, 2012, customers who install a separate irrigation meter, backflow device and smart controller will have all irrigation usage charged at the tier 3 rate. Currently, those with irrigation meters are charged at tier 3 and tier 4.
To help offset the costs of installing a separate irrigation meter, CMUD is waiving the $433 capacity fee for the installation of a
split service residential irrigation meter. Additionally, the connection fee can now be spread over a 12-month period.
For more information, visit the Smart Irrigation program page.
AAA-Rating, $18 Million Bond Debt Refinancing
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities recently refinanced $114 million in revenue bond debt that will generate $18 million in savings for customers.
The refinancing helps keep costs down as CMUD transitions from a time of high growth to lower growth and continues to maintain quality service.
The AAA-rated bonds were underwritten by Bank of America Merrill Lynch and Wells Fargo Securities, with the sale officially closing on August 3. CMUD is one of eight organizations of its kind in the country with a AAA rating from the three major rating agencies.
Curious about CMUD's capital investment program? Want to know more about how we rehab older sections of our system? Didn't realize that more than 85 percent of our system has been built since 1980? To learn more, visit the construction section of our website.
Water Quality Report Released
Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities has released its annual water quality report, and once again your drinking water meets and exceeds all state and federal standards.
Utilities professionals conducted more than 150,000 tests on drinking water in 2010 to ensure that the water we all drink is safe. These tests look for more than 150 substances, many of which occur naturally in the environment. Even the highest contaminant levels detected were well below established safety limits.
The report also includes the results of the Source Water Assessment Program conducted by the state of North Carolina, information on impurities that might be present in untreated water, and basic information about the water treatment process.
To read the report in its entirety, or to view a list of substances that were tested for and not found, please click here.
Outdoor Water Use Tips
It’s summer in North Carolina, and while rainfall has been good so far this year it’s still important to remember to be mindful of outdoor water use. Visit our WaterSmart pages to learn more about water conservation and how you can improve water use efficiency at home. For more information about the Catawba-Wateree River Basin, current drought status and more, check the Catawba-Wateree Water Management Group’s website.
New Rates in Place
On July 1 new water and sewer rates went into effect. The new water usage rates include a decrease in Tier 1, an increase in Tiers 2 and 3, and no change to Tier 4. Two new fees were added, called availability fees, for both water and sewer. These fees are to help pay the cost of construction projects and bring stability to CMUD revenues. For much more information about water and sewer rates as well as the new fees, please read our Customer’s Guide to Understanding Your Bill and Rates.
City Council Approves Utilities Budget
At its meeting on June 13, Charlotte City Council approved the annual Charlotte-Mecklenburg Utilities budget. The new budget includes changes to the rate structure as well as a rate increase.
For most customers, the total bill increase will range between $.37 and $8.99 per month. This increase will help add staff to fix leaks, pay for construction projects that have been built over the last decade, and pay for increases in chemicals and power.
A full, online guide helps explain these changes. For much more information, click here.
Rate Structure Update
In February, City Council approved changes to the CMUD rate structure. The biggest changes customers will notice is the addition of an availability fee and the reduction in the sewer cap.
The availability fee applies to both water and sewer and is based on the size of a customer's meter. This is is designed to help reduce the utility's dependence on revenues from water consumption.
For more information, please click here.
Meter Pilot Update
Utilities workers have completed the installation of 100W meter transmitters in River Run and Hidden Valley for the meter pilot project. The testing of 100W meter transmitters marks a first step towards real-time, continuous meter reading. Because 100Ws capture and store water usage data at a more frequent interval, CMUD would eventually have access to far more information about a customer's water usage.
For more detailed information, visit the meter pilot section of our website.