Water & Wastewater

Management of Public Utilities

The Public Works Department manages our water and wastewater systems. Our highly trained staff operates a wastewater treatment facility and associated infrastructure that processes 250,000,000 million gallons of wastewater annually.

Our water system produces nearly one million of gallons per day on average, or approximately 325,000,000 gallons of water per year.

The department is responsible for providing underground utility locates for both water and sewer service lines, conducts water service line repairs, and regularly performs sewer jetting work throughout the city. The department services water main breaks and maintains 24-hour on-call staffing in the event of an after-hours emergency.

About Our Water

Water is produced at wells and is treated with chlorine for sterilization. From the wells, water is pumped to one of two water towers. The towers are connected the distribution system where it is distributed to over 1,000 customers. At each customer's connection water follows through the meter which registers the volume used in gallons. Meter readers pull information off each meter every month which is inputted into the billing system.

In 2016-17, the City replaced all the meters in the system with a new radio reading capable SENSUS system. The new system allows residents to more closely monitor their consumption through a web portal. The radio read system also eliminates the the need to read each individual meter by hand.

Water System Duties & Responsibilities

  • Maintain the water system including wells, mains, valves, lines and over 900 meters
  • Provide safe, reliable water service
  • Provide high quality customer service for all residents and users

Our Wastewater Treatment System

South Hutchinson updated its wastewater treatment facilities in 2004. The treatment facility is a mechanical nutrient removal plant that treats between 700,000 to 800,000 gallons of waste product per day. 
Wastewater is collected through individual connections and sent to the sewer plant via gravity flow lines or through sewer lift stations. Raw waste is screened at the plant to remove large debris before entering the treatment process.
Through the treatment process, debris and waste particulars are filtered out in stages, producing a nutrient rich sludge that is spread on city-owned farmland. Water that is separated from the sludge is treated further.

Effluent water that has been through the treatment process is then discharged into the Arkansas River Basin. Effluent from the South Hutchinson treatment facility meets or exceeds all environmental standards and is generally more clean than water in the basin.

Wastewater Utility Duties & Responsibilities

Duties & Responsibilities
  • Maintain waste water system, including collection, lines, lift stations, and a nutrient removal mechanical treatment plant
  • Provide safe, reliable waste water service that meets or exceeds all regulatory standards
  • Provide high quality customer service for all residents and users

Utility Billing Rates

The minimum charge for water service is set by ordinance and is currently $5.91 per month. There is a scale for water per 100 cubic feet charged based on use. The minimum charge for wastewater service is $28 until a winter average can be set for residential customers. Winter average takes the water usage in December, January, and February and averages the consumption. Revised averages appear on the May bills.

Water Rates

Water rates are determined by the monthly usage through the meter. Minimum charges are determined by the size of the service meter. Commercial meters minimum charges are determined by the size of meter, with larger meters paying a larger minimum fee. Consumption rates are tier at bulk rate, meaning the more water consumed the lower the cost of each additional unit. Out of town users pay an additional fee for water and wastewater service. Starting in 2016, water rates are revised annually to increase a minimal amount to compensate for cost inflation. A full chart of these rates is located in Ordinance No. 17-886 attached at the bottom of this page.

Wastewater Rates

Wastewater rates are governed by Ordinance No. 17-885 and can be located at the bottom of this page.

Once a winter average can be set, wastewater rates are computed by adding the base charge to the consumption charge associated with the winter average. Commercial customers do not receive a winter average, but are billed based on monthly water consumption. The minimum base charge is $10 per month. For each hundred cubic feet (HCF) of consumption, the customer will pay $3.00 per unit.

Billing

Water and sewer services are billed at the end of each month for the previous month. Bills are due on the 10th of each month. When the 10th of the month falls on a weekend, customers have until 5:00 pm the Monday following the weekend to pay without a late fee. Residents that are past due will receive red tag shutoff notices and given 7 to 10 days to make payment on their bill.

Payment

The City accepts check, cash, money orders and credit cards as payment. Credit card users will be assessed a 2.5% convenience fee with a minimum charge of $2.00. This fee is collected by the credit card company for processing and does not come to the City. The City also offers ACH direct withdraw bill payment. Forms and more information are available in City Hall. Return check fees are $30 per instance. The Utility department reserves the right to not accept checks from customers who have had previously returned checks. Discretion on check acceptance is with the Billing Clerk.

Late Fees

A late charge of 15% on the amount of the bill will be added after the 10th of the month. If a user is shut off for non-payment, a $30.00 fee for turning on water service is also applied to customers account.