Sewer Usage Utility Billing Changes

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sprinkler in grass, hoseThe Ankeny City Council recently updated the ordinance for how the city charges for sewer.  Effective Jan. 1, 2020, sewer use charges default to actual billing for residential customers. Actual billing allows customers to pay for sewer use charges based on actual water used. This provides a fairer system for customers that have little to no non-sewer usage, or customers with fluctuating water usage (i.e. vacant properties, snow birds, etc.). An additional change to the ordinance allows residential customers to add a second meter for non-sewer use, at their expense, and be on actual billing for domestic use.

What you should know about the new ordinance:

  • All existing residential accounts, without a known irrigation/backflow system, default to actual usage for sewer charges. Accounts will no longer be averaged for sewer usage.
  • We encourage customers to use actual billing. If you find that actual does not work for your personal situation, you can choose to change your billing option by making a request online no later than Dec. 31, 2020. To help make this decision, you can review your usage history through the billing website.
  • Customers with a known irrigation/backflow system remain on sewer averaging. If you prefer to be billed for actual usage, you will need to request the change online no later than Dec. 31, 2020. You are allowed to add a second meter to your home and use actual billing for domestic use. If you plan to add a second meter, you or your plumber will need to notify us when the plumbing is ready for the meter and we will schedule an appointment for the meter installation. You will be billed for the meter once it is installed and then billing will be switched to actual. Once a second meter is added at a residence average sewer billing is no longer an option.
  • All new residential homes permitted after Jan. 1, 2020, are required to be plumbed to have the option of a second meter, which deducts non-sewer use, and residents will default and remain on actual sewer. If this line will be used to water or establish turf or landscaping, we highly recommend the secondary meter be installed. Customers moving into these new homes will not have the option of sewer averaging.

Ankeny City Council unanimously approved the final reading of the updated ordinance on Monday, Dec. 16, 2019. View the updated ordinance here. 


  • How do I decide?
  • Do I have to install a second meter to get a break on sewer?
  • How do other cities in Iowa charge for sewer?
  • I am a snowbird and have no usage during the months that an average is determined. How is my average figured?
  • I am having a new home built; what are my options?
  • I have an irrigation system but want to be charged sewer for only what I use each month when not using my system.
  • I live in an apartment and have no outside water use. What do I need to do?
  • My association provides the irrigation for my area. Do I need to do anything?
  • What if I do not have an irrigation system but I do water using hoses/sprinklers?
  • What if I have a septic system?
  • What if I have an irrigation system and I begin to get billed actual sewer?
  • What if I’m a commercial utility customer?
  • What is a “known” irrigation/backflow system?
  • What is the cost for a second meter?
  • When can I expect to see this change reflected on my bill?
More FAQs