Yesterday's Commercial Appeal included a letter to the editor complaining about sewer charges. The author incorrectly assumes that MLGW is responsible for the sewer fees. MLGW's Rod Cleek sent a response to the CA. Below is the response, as well as the original letter.
Letter: MLGW penalizes those with gardens
Posted June 26, 2012 at midnight
I note, in your paper, that first lady Michelle Obama is coming to Memphis to deliver a keynote address. She might also address one of her key passions: planting gardens for both beauty and fresh food. I decided to create a garden in my barren backyard in Midtown.
This week I received my MLGW bill. As expected, my water bill was high as the garden requires regular watering. I was prepared to pay that price for the beauty of a garden. However, I was surprised to see an additional $50 fee as a sewer charge. When I called MLGW, I was informed the fee is based on the high amount of water I was using and thus putting a strain on the sewer. I explained the water was not going down the sewer, but on my garden. I was told that is the way it is at MLGW, at the direction of the City Council.
So, first lady, better not to encourage the people of Memphis to plant gardens unless they are aware of the penalty for such actions.
Conrad C. Brombach
The June 26 Commercial Appeal included a letter to the editor that addressed sewer fees. Within the City, sewer rates and services are the responsibility of the City of Memphis Public Works department, while the water rates and services are provided by MLGW. MLGW does not set the sewer rates or maintain sewer services. The City sets its sewer rate based on the water consumption.
MLGW serves as the billing entity for the City's sewer service as well as several other City services, rather than having separate bills being sent to customers for each service. MLGW also bills for various services on behalf of the suburban governments.
Sewer inquiries should be directed to Public Works at 576-6757, while water bill inquiries can be directed to MLGW at 544-MLGW (6549). MLGW bills include phone numbers for each of city or county services that appear on your utility bill.
Budget, Plant and Rates Department
Memphis Light, Gas and Water