City to review sewer fees for sprinkler systems
One member of the Waupaca Common Council plans to bring up lawn irrigation for discussion.
“As part of the discussion, I will have it on the agenda,” Alderman Jim Boyer said Wednesday, Aug. 4, at a meeting of the city’s Board of Public Works.
During that meeting, Richard Blanchard spoke to the board on behalf of the Meadow Ridge Village Condo Association.
Many of those who live in the condominiums signed a petition requesting that water used to irrigate the lawn be exempted from sewer fees.
Donovan Lane, who owns ABC Computers and uses sprinklers for irrigating the company’s lawn, also brought up the issue within the last year.
He, too, was present at the Aug. 4 meeting, calling it a “moral issue, not a business issue.”
Both Blanchard and Lane said the water used for irrigation does not go down the sewer. Yet, they are charged as if it does.
John Edlebeck, city’s director of public works, said the meters at the condominiums that are used for sprinkling come off the main water line. “It is read and billed to the association,” he said.
He said an alternative for owners of the condominiums includes removing all city irrigation water meters and then connecting to condo owner water lines and installing a private water meter that the condo association would read.
Other alternatives include the condo association installing a private irrigation well or pumping out of the Waupaca River for irrigation.
Lane called it a moral issue, because he said the city has a law specifying that they be charged for the sewer when they are not using the sewer.
He said he irrigates the lawn at his business, because it is in the gateway to Waupaca, and he wants to help attract other businesses to the area.
While lawn sprinkling has not been necessary this year due to the amount of rainfall, Lane says he has paid between $2,000 and $3,000 in other years.
Boyer believes the city’s policy needs to be changed and is willing to bring it up to the full council.