Frequently asked questions and answers

When will I get my sewer bill?

Sewer bills are mailed out quarterly. They are mailed out by sections of town. They are due thirty (30) days from the billing date. The billing schedule is as follows:

In Town: February, May, August, November
Old Mill / Farmgate: March, June, September, and December
Agamenticus Estates: January, April, July, and October

How will I be billed for my sewer?

Your quarterly sewer bill will be broken into two sections. The first part will be your variable service rate, which is based on water consumption as metered by the South Berwick Water District. The rate per gallon for the next calendar year will be established by dividing the District's total budget, less the debt service and anticipated revenues by the volume of billed water consumption for the immediate past calendar year. The rate per gallon will then be multiplied by the quarterly metered gallons of each customer to determine the amount of your invoice. The variable service rate is set at $0.014 for the 2023 calendar year.

The second part of your bill will be the base service fee. Trustees have reviewed the number of equivalent units and determined them to be 1,660. This amount is a fixed rate for the year and shall be prorated on a day basis calculation for units abutting the sewer system during the year. It is applicable to all equivalent units whether sewer service is provided or not. The base service fee is set at $200 a year or $50 per quarter.

I just found out I need a final water and sewer reading done in order to sell my house. What do I do?

Your realtor (if you are using one) should call the water (207) 384-2257 and sewer (207) 384-2760 billing offices to schedule an appointment to have your meter read. After the final reading is done, the bills can be paid at the water and sewer district billing offices.

There is sewage backing up in my cellar. What do I do?

Call the treatment plant at (207) 384-0091 or (207) 252-4274 and a representative will go out and investigate the problem.

Due to the nature of the industry, municipal sewer backups are a too often occurring issue. These backups unfortunately often result in damages to district member's property. Sewer districts have protocols in place to avoid the backups, but unfortunately backups can still occur.

Current state law exempts the districts or departments from liability if proper maintenance has been performed on the collection system. Consequently the South Berwick Sewer District's insurer will refuse to provide coverage for inadvertent backups on District sewer lines that have been properly maintained.

After several backup occurrences, the trustees have decided that the district will not reimburse for damages which are not covered by the district insurer.

Properties most susceptible to backup damages are those with fixtures located lower than the uphill manhole in the sewer section servicing the home. These fixtures can include showers, toilets, sinks and washing machines. Floor drains are also susceptible to the flooding and by current rules are illegal. If you have questions regarding your susceptibility contact the district office to arrange a district review of your property.

What can be done to avoid damage resulting from a backup?

  • If your fixtures are susceptible to a backup, a backflow preventer (valve) can be installed on the gravity line as it exits the facility. Although not foolproof and maintenance free, these devices will stop or slow the backup flow that could otherwise enter unencumbered into your home.
  • Remove susceptible fixtures and plug the drain lines;
  • In extreme cases lifting the flow from the susceptible fixtures with a pump could provide protection.

What can be done to protect yourself financially?

Contact your homeowners' insurance carrier to determine if you have coverage for possible backup damage, or if coverage can be reasonably provided.

I have a sewer blockage. Can the district determine what it is and where it is?

Yes we can. Please contact the treatment plant at (207) 384-0091.

While digging we broke a water/sewer service. Can someone help?

Please call the water (207) 384-2257 and sewer (207) 384-0091 districts. Have the contractor's name and phone number available and a representative from the districts will work with them at the location to help repair.

Can I flush wipes?

We ask that you please be mindful of what you're flushing and DO NOT flush wipes and paper towels that contribute to line-blocking. Staff at our treatment plant have seen a considerable increase in the amount of disposable and disinfecting wipes being flushed. We understand the need for these items but would ask that you dispose of them in your household trash.