High-Strength Wastewater Surcharge Program


The Ames Water Pollution Control Facility was designed to treat normal domestic wastewater (i.e. wastewater typically discharged from an average residential home). As a result, sewer use fees are determined based on the cost of treating domestic wastewater. The definition of normal domestic wastewater and current sewer use fees are published in Chapter 28, Division III of the Ames Municipal Code.

Wastewater discharged from many industrial sources is typically much higher in strength than domestic wastewater and, as a result, requires additional treatment. Consequently, it also costs more for the City to treat industrial wastewater. Facilities on the High-Strength Wastewater Surcharge Program discharging high-strength wastewater pay a wastewater surcharge fee to cover the additional treatment costs created by their facility. This ensures that rates remain low and fair for all customers.

Surcharge rates are based on the cost of treating Chemical Oxygen Demand (COD), Total Suspended Solids (TSS), and Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen (TKN). The treatment costs are published in Appendix Q of the Ames Municipal Code and are used to determine facility-specific surcharge rates. The facility-specific surcharge rates are calculated at least every six months and are based on actual wastewater data collected from the facility.

Facilities on the High-Strength Wastewater Surcharge Program are often identified through the Non-Domestic Waste Pretreatment Program.

Find the Surcharge Rates and Conversion Here

For more information on the High-Strength Wastewater Surcharge Program, click here or contact:
Dustin Albrecht
Environmental Specialist
300 E. 5th Street, Bldg. 1
Ames, IA  50010