Memphis scored the lowest in a survey of 156 cities in how much citizens pay for wastewater treatment.
The survey calculated what cities charge residents to collect and dispose of 7,480 gallons of wastewater per month. Memphis' fee $6.55 per household per month. That's $61 less than the $67.50 charged to Seattle, Washington residents (the city that topped the list).
Second to Memphis was Chicago with sewer fees of $8.62 per household. Though Nashville and Knoxville were not on the list, both cities charge quite a bit more than Memphis. In Nashville, residents pay $37.50 per month, while Knoxville trumps Seattle at a rate of $69.49 per month.
"Low sewer fees provide the city of Memphis with a great economic advantage in attracting new industry to the area, especially industries that are involved in food processing" says Memphis Public Works director Jerry Collins.
How does the city keep its fees so low? Among the reasons: the acquisition of federal construction grants in the 1970s and 1980s, low employee wastewater volume ratio, energy-efficient treatment plants, well-built wastewater collection system, and low personnel overtime costs.