Water Rates Changed

Late last year, the Town of Santa Claus was notified of a rate increase from Patoka Lake Water District.

While the town owns and operates its own wells, about two-thirds of the water used by Santa Claus Water Utility comes from Patoka Lake.

The Water Board commissioned a rate study by LWG CPAs & Advisors from Indianapolis to determine what affect this might have on the future operations of the town’s water plant. Their report was received in February and it recommended an increase in water rates to account for past inflation and the new rates from Patoka Lake. Their recommendation was either a 23.45% or 31.07% increase. This amount was determined based on the Patoka Lake increase, a need to bring operating reserves to the state required levels and inflation.

The town’s last rate increase was in 2009 and in that period of time, the Consumer Price Index rose roughly 20%.

On Friday, March 1st, the Town Council held a public hearing based on a recommendation from the Water Board on the proposed increase of 23.45%. Hearing no objections, the Town Council approved Ordinance 2019-04.

At the meeting it was stated that this increase affects various users differently, but for the average customer using 3,447 gallons per month the rate increase would be approximately $5.00 per month. It was further pointed out that this increase does not affect the wastewater charges since that charge it is based on the amount of water used, not the price of the water.

The Water Board has acted in good faith to ensure that the water utility will remain an economically viable entity into the future and continue to provide quality water to its customers.

A copy of the ordinance can be found here.

and

A copy of the Final Rate Study can be found here.

Audio from the Public Hearing and Council Meeting can be found here

Important information for Santa Claus water customers!

New meters are being installed.

In July 2017 the town water department began installation of a new radio read, water meter system. The intent of the new program is many-fold. We wanted to reduce cost of reading and, be able to give customers a clear history of use; as well as more accurate reading using this up to date technology.

We have however discovered an unintended consequence- damaged radio equipment.

Typical installation consists of a radio transmitter attached to a new or existing meter. Your water meter may be inside your home, or in a meter pit in the yard. If your meter is inside, there will be on the exterior of your home, a radio transmitter- typically 3 feet from the ground. Care should be taken while performing any landscaping, weed-eating, or mowing around this equipment.

If your meter is in a pit in the yard, the lid and transmitter may be flush with the ground. If the grass gets tall they will be hard to see, and can be damaged by a mower. Again, please be careful when mowing or weed-eating around the meter pit.

Being just over a year since installations have begun, we expected a “getting used to” period. We have however come to the point where we must inform folks that when this equipment is damaged, we must unfortunately bill you for the replacement equipment.

Included with this letter are pictures of typical radio installation of both types- “pit” installations, and “house” installations. If you ever have questions about the location of either type-or questions about your drinking water, the water department will be happy to help. You may contact us by any of the means listed below, or go to the town website for additional notices, at: townofsantaclaus.com.

Thank you

Top View-Pit
Side View-Pit
House Installation

 

 

 

 

 

Utilities Office: ph. 812.544.3329    e-mail: scadmin@psci.net

Water Department: ph. 812.544.2354    e-mail: scwater@psci.net

PDF Version is available here.

Water Utility Position

The Town of Santa Claus is accepting applications for Full Time Water Utility Department experience preferred, but not required.  Salary based on experience. Applications can be obtained at the Town Hall, M-F 8:00am-4:00pm CST. Drug screen, Background Check and Residency (within 10-mile radius of Santa Claus) requirement. Santa Claus is an EOE.”

 

Help Wanted!! Full Time Sewer Utility Technician

The Town of Santa Claus is accepting applications for Full Time Sewer Utility Technician experience preferred, but not required.  Salary based on experience. Applications can be obtained at the Town Hall, M-F 8:00am-4:00pm CST. Drug screen, Background Check and Residency (within 10-mile radius of Santa Claus) requirement. “Santa Claus is an EOE.”

Protecting our Wastewater Plant

In 2017, the Town of Santa Claus’ Wastewater Treatment Plant processed 195 million gallons.

It was processed from a collection system…a labyrinth consisting of 65 miles of underground pipe, connections, pumps and lift stations.

Toilets are designed to handle human waste and toilet paper.

Putting other items into this system can not only lead to plumbing problems on your property, but also puts a burden on the entire system resulting in increased costs to all users.

That being said, there are some items that are particularly unsuitable for toilet disposal. Here’s a list:

  • Flushable baby wipes and sani-wipes: No matter what’s on the label, “flushable” wipes do not disintegrate in water as quickly as toilet tissue does.
    See this video from Consumer Reports
  • Dental floss: Waxed or unwaxed, dental floss becomes a veritable seine net catching all sorts of debris, clogging toilets and sewer pipes.
  • Kitty litter and dried poop from a litter box: Toilets are designed for water-soluble waste. When cat poop sits in litter, it gets dehydrated and becomes hard as a rock. These “petrified poops” can get lodged in the labyrinth of pipes exiting the toilet and cause a clog.
  • Hair: Hair will never dissolve in water.
  • Condoms: Condoms will clog toilets and septic tanks.
  • Bleach: Bleach is a very harsh chemical that does not belong in sewerage lines or septic systems.
  • Cigarette butts: Cigarette butts belong in the trash, not the toilet.
  • Diapers/sanitary napkins/paper towels: Think about it. These are made to absorb water, not break apart in it.
  • Chewing gum: Chewing gum never dissolves in water.
  • Cotton balls/swabs: These items are not going to dissolve in water.
  • Food: Some may argue that food is biodegradable, and it is. But it can lodge in plumbing and create a stubborn clog while it’s decomposing.
  • Grease: It might be liquid when it enters the pipes, but as soon as grease cools it solidifies and creates one powerful clog.
  • Fish/snakes/little critters: Flushing live animals down the toilet is not only inhumane, it is stupid.
  • Medication/Illegal drugs: Toilet water cannot destroy the active ingredients in medicines or illegal drugs.
    These should be disposed of during Medicine Cabinet Cleanout Days.

Bottom line: The toilet is designed to dispose of human waste. Using it for any other purpose can not only damage your plumbing, it puts a strain on the entire system.

Flush smart!