Surcharge Program

Wastewater discharged from businesses often contains solids and organic matter at higher concentrations than those found in residential wastewater. Wastewater is considered to be "normal strength" if it meets the wastewater quality standards established for typical residential wastewater. Wastewater that exceeds these values is considered to be "extra strength." 

Much of the cost associated with treating wastewater is related to the amount of solids that must be removed and the amount of oxygen that is required to stabilize and digest organic matter in the wastewater. As such, the treatment of wastewater from some businesses is significantly more expensive than the treatment of typical residential wastewater.

How It Works

Relying on the periodic collection and analyses of wastewater samples from each source, the Surcharge Program enables Winston-Salem/Forsyth County Utilities to recover the extra costs associated with the treatment of extra strength wastewater. Individualized surcharges are determined for each industrial source. These surcharges are based on site specific sample results for Biochemical Oxygen Demand (BOD) and Total Suspended Solids (TSS). The results of these site specific samples shall be binding as a basis for surcharges.

The wastewater surcharge is only applied to those sources of waste if their average discharge quality exceeds one or more of the following parameters:

  • BOD 200
  • TSS 200
  • Normal Values in Milligrams per Liter (mg/l)

All customers subject to a surcharge are notified by letter and the monthly surcharge fees are applied to the customer’s monthly utility bill. The surcharge to facilities located outside the corporate limits of the city will be one and one-half times the amount.