A change has been made to how the town charges for sanitary sewage consumption from May to October that could save over 4,000 Cochrane property owners a little bit of money.

Last night, town council gave final readings to an amended sanitary sewage service bylaw that will step back from basing wastewater consumption in the warmer months from a winter average.

Now, residents will be charged an amount equal to the water consumption volume in those months if the winter average consumption is higher.

Based upon overages data, Cochrane Water and Wastewater Manager Troy Sylvestre says thousands of accounts could benefit from the change.

"The data for the years 2018 to 2020 shows approximately 4,300 accounts a month were impacted during months that winter averaging was applied," Sylvestre told council.

The average overcharge was 3.1 cubics. Based upon 2021 rates, the change will amount to an average savings of $7.00 for accounts impacted.

Residents use water differently in the summer for such things as tending to lawns and gardens and washing cars. None of those uses enter the sanitary system. In the winter, water consumed at a typical residential household ends up in the sanitary sewer.

Advancements in software have made it possible to adjust accounts while enhancing the transparency and accuracy of utility account billing.