Where does it go?

To see where your sewer utility bill goes, start by following the flow of water

In this #BehindTheBill series, we take a closer look at the work made possible by your monthly or quarterly NEORSD bill.

If you pay a water bill, a phone bill, internet bill, electric bill, you usually do so with their benefits right at your fingertips: You see, touch, or are surrounded by the very service you’re paying for.

But your sewer bill?

So much of our work as a sewer and stormwater utility is hidden underground, beyond the drain, or perhaps woven into the environment in such a way that you never make the connection between your bill, the benefit, and ultimately the value.

That’s what prompts this web series we call #BehindTheBill, giving customers and anyone interested a closer look at the work made possible by your monthly or quarterly NEORSD bill.

The urban water cycle is how treated water, sewage, and untreated water flow within our region’s infrastructure. We start here before looking behind the bill because sewer and stormwater bills customers pay support more than half of the work identified in this cycle.

Jessica and Ebony lay out the basics in a tweet-worthy two minutes.

In Cleveland, your water bill pays for the work it takes to treat Lake Erie water and pump it to your home. From there, the water you use leaves your home and travels through local sewers and our regional system to be treated at one of our three treatment plants before being released back to Lake Erie safely.

But more than sewage, stormwater also factors into the cycle. Stormwater on hard surfaces in Cleveland combines with the wastewater in sewers to flow to our plants for treatment, but in parts of Cleveland and most suburbs, stormwater runoff flows right to local streams untreated.

Your sewer bill pays for the sewer work (regional sewers, treatment plant operation, maintenance, construction, environmental monitoring and more), and your regional stormwater management fee pays for the work related to the regional impacts of stormwater runoff (stream flooding, erosion, and debris maintenance).

All of these require closer looks at the cost, value, and opportunities of each responsibility. Within this series, we’ll work our way through the cycle and how we make it happen.

Official Medium channel of the Northeast Ohio Regional Sewer District in Cleveland, OH