Sewer charges have been included on Albany water bills for the last two decades. We must charge for sewer use because all of the wastewater collected is treated by Albany County at its wastewater treatment plants. The county bills us for treating the waste, and we must recover this cost from property owners.
Back in the 1970s, it was determined that the fairest way to assess sewer charges was to base them on the amount of water used by our customers since most of our customers generate waste in their daily lives, and that waste ends up in our sewer system. Because we have a combined storm and sanitary sewer system, wastewater, whether it is from a household toilet or lawn sprinkler, will end up in the sewer system. As more wastewater flows through the county sewage treatment plants, the Albany Water Department faces higher charges for processing the increased volume of wastewater and these costs are passed on to the property owners.