Information & Policies
- Residential and Commercial Customers are billed on a quarterly basis. Industrial Customers and Hauled Waste Customers are billed monthly.
- Customers in Hazleton City and West Hazleton Borough receive a GHJSA bill for both Sewage Treatment and Sewage Transmission. Customers in all other municipalities receive a GHJSA bill for Sewage Treatment only.
- Sewer Bills are only issued directly to Property Owners. The GHJSA does not bill tenants directly.
- Vacant properties are issued a sewer bill unless the water meter is removed from the property.
- Avoid the late charge – Pay the amount due no later than the due date to avoid a 10% penalty assessed on the current sewer charge.
- Account is considered paid when payment is received in the GHJSA Business Office. GHJSA is not responsible for mail service.
- Failure to receive a bill does not relieve responsibility for payment when due.
- There is a $20.00 charge for checks or ACH Bank Drafts returned from a bank for any reason. The charge is directly applied to the customer’s account balance.
The GHJSA charges Sewage Treatment Fees for all customers in the service area. Because the GHJSA now owns the Sewage Collection Systems in the City of Hazleton and Borough of West Hazleton, an additional fee for Sewage Transmission is charged to all customers in the City and Borough. (City and Borough Customers have two (2) charges on each bill; All other customers have one (1) charge)
Sewage Treatment Rates – All GHJSA Customers
The GHJSA currently levies Sewage Treatment Fees which are generally uniform. Residential customers and commercial flat rate customers pay a rate of $96.75 per quarter effective July 31, 2018. Industrial customers and commercial metered customers pay a rate based on water consumption, with the charge of $96.75 per quarter for the first 13,500 gallons of water use, and $7.17 per thousand gallons over 13,500 gallons. Industrial users may be surcharged based on the strength of the discharge. A typical residential user pays Sewage Treatment charges of $387.00 per year per EDU. Residential and commercial customers are billed quarterly and industrial customers are billed monthly.
Sewage Transmission Rates – Hazleton City and West Hazleton Borough Only
The GHJSA currently levies Sewage Transmission Fees which are generally uniform. Residential customers and commercial flat rate customers pay a rate of $32.25 per quarter effective July 31, 2018. Industrial customers and commercial metered customers pay a rate based on water consumption, with the charge of $32.25 per quarter for the first 13,500 gallons of water use, and $2.39 per thousand gallons over 13,500 gallons. Industrial users may be surcharged based on the strength of the discharge. A typical residential user pays Sewage Transmission charges of $129.00 per year per EDU. Residential and commercial customers are billed quarterly and industrial customers are billed monthly.
Additional Fees and Charges
Penalty for Late Payment
Delinquent accounts are charged an additional sum of ten percent (10%) of the unpaid balance. In the event of serious delinquency, the Authority has the ability to terminate water service and to file liens on the delinquent property.
Lien Fee $300.00 per property
Return Check Fee $20.00 per check or ACH returned by bank for any reason
Posting Fee $20.00 for each property posted with a Water Shut-off Notice
Termination of Water Service $40.00 per service disconnection due to non-payment
ARTICLE III – PROHIBITED WASTES AND POLLUTANT LIMITATIONS
Section 3.01 Discharge of Stormwaters
No Person shall Discharge or cause or permit to be Discharged any stormwater, surface water, groundwater, roofwater, subsurface drainage, or building foundation drainage into any Sanitary Sewer.
Section 3.02 Prohibited Discharges
No User shall Discharge or cause to be Discharged, directly or indirectly, any Pollutant or Wastewater which will Interfere with the operation or performance of the Sewer System. These general prohibitions apply to all Users whether or not the Users are subject to Categorical Standards or any other Pretreatment Requirements. A User may not Discharge the following substances to the Sewer System:
A. Any liquids, solids or gases which by reason of their nature or quantity are, or may be, sufficient either alone or by interaction with other substances to cause fire or explosion or be injurious in any other way to the Sewer System or to the operation of the Sewer System. At no time, shall two successive readings on an explosion hazard meter, at the point of discharge into the system (or at any point in the system) be more than five percent (5%) nor any single reading over ten percent (10%) of the Lower Explosive Limit (LEL) of the meter. At no time shall the closed cup flashpoint of the Wastewater be less than 140 degrees Fahrenheit. Prohibited materials include, but are not limited to, the following substances in concentrations which cause exceedance of the above standard: gasoline, kerosene, naphtha, benzene, ethers, alcohols, peroxides, chlorates, perchlorates, bromates, and carbides.
B. Solid or viscous substances which may cause obstruction to the flow in a Sewer or other Interference with the operation of the Sewer System, such as, but not limited to: grease, Garbage with particles greater than one-half inch (1/2″) in any dimension, animal guts or tissues, paunch manure, bones, hair, hides or fleshings, entrails, whole blood, feathers, ashes, cinders, sand, spent lime, stone or marble dust, metal, glass, straw, shavings, grass clippings, rags, spent grains, spent hops, waste paper, wood, plastics, gas, tar, asphalt residues, residues from refining, or processing of fuel or lubricating oil, mud, or glass grinding or polishing wastes.
C. Any Wastewater having a pH less than 6.0 or higher than 10.0, or Wastewater having any other corrosive property capable of causing damage or hazard to structures, equipment, and/or personnel of the Sewer System.
D. Any Wastewater containing Toxic Pollutants in sufficient quantity, either singly or by interaction with other constituents of the Wastewater, to injure or interfere with any Wastewater treatment process, constitute a hazard to humans or animals, create a toxic effect in the receiving waters of the Sewage Treatment Plant, or to exceed the limitation set forth in an applicable Categorical Standard.
E. Any noxious or malodorous liquids, gases, or solids which either singly or by interaction with other substances normally present in the Sewer System are sufficient to create a public nuisance or hazard to life or are sufficient to prevent entry into the Sewer System for maintenance and repair.
F. Any substance which results in the formation or release of toxic gasses, vapors or fumes in a quantity that may cause acute worker health and safety problems.
G. Any petroleum oil, non-biodegradable cutting oil, or products of mineral oil origin in amounts that will cause Interference or Pass Through, but in no case exceeding 20 mg/L.
H. Fats, oils, greases or waxes of animal or vegetable origin in amounts which cause Interference with the POTW, including but not limited to physical obstruction of Sewers.
I. Any substance which may cause the Sewage Treatment Plant’s effluent or any other product of the Sewage Treatment Plant such as residues, sludges, or scums, to be unsuitable for reclamation and reuse or to interfere with the reclamation process. In no case, shall a substance discharged to the Sewer System cause the Sewage Treatment Plant to be in noncompliance with sludge use or disposal criteria, guidelines, or regulations affecting sludge use or disposal developed pursuant to the Solid Waste Disposal Act, the Clean Air Act, the Toxic Substances Control Act, or State criteria applicable to the sludge management method being used.
J. Any substance which will cause the Authority to violate its NPDES and/or State Collection System Permit or applicable receiving water quality standards.
K. Any Wastewater with objectionable color which will Pass Through the Treatment Plant, such as, but not limited to, dye wastes and vegetable tanning solutions.
L. Any Wastewater having a temperature which will inhibit biological activity in the Sewage Treatment Plant resulting in Interference, but in no case Wastewater with a temperature at the Discharge into the Sewer System which exceeds 40° C (104° F).
M. Any Pollutants, including oxygen demanding Pollutants (BOD, etc.) released at a flow rate and/or Pollutant concentration which will cause Interference to the Sewage Treatment Plant or interfere with the operation of the Sewer System. BOD in excess of 1,500 mg/1 in a composite sample, and 2,250 mg/l in any grab sample is prohibited. In no case shall a Slug Load be discharged.
N. Any Wastewater containing any radioactive wastes or isotopes of such halflife or concentration as may exceed limits established by the Authority or applicable State or Federal regulations.
O. Any trucked or hauled Wastewater or Pollutants except those discharged at points designated by the Authority.
P. Any Wastewater which is incompatible with treatment processes in use at the Sewage Treatment Plant so as to cause Interference or Pass Through.
Q. Any Wastewater containing any compounds or salts of aldrin, dieldrin, endrin, lindane, methoxychlor, toxaphene, dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, trichlorophenoxyproprionic acid, or other persistent herbicides, pesticides or rodenticides.
Section 3.03 Unauthorized Discharges
Discharge of any prohibited substance listed under Section 3.02 shall be considered an Unauthorized Discharge and the Authority may take whatever steps are necessary to halt such a discharge, as set forth in Articles VI and VII of this Resolution (Resolution 003 of 2007). A complete copy of the Resolution can be downloaded by clicking here.
Procedures If A Sewer Backup Occurs
GHJSA experience shows that most sewer backups are caused by problems with the property owner’s sewer lateral and not by blockages within the main sewer line.
Please note that in the City of Hazleton and Borough of West Hazleton, the property owner is responsible for the entire sewer lateral, from the building or structure to the main sewer connection where the lateral is connected to the main sewer line. The following procedures should be followed if you are experiencing a sewer backup:
The Property Owner must first contact a licensed/certified plumber to inspect the sewer lateral.
If the plumber is unable to open the blockage, ask them to locate and identify the problem area with closed-circuit television equipment and/or locating devices.
If backups occur during heavy rain, ask the plumber to ensure that rain leaders, downspouts, sump pumps, and foundation drains are not connected to the sewer lateral. It is illegal for these items to be connected to the sanitary sewer system and the GHJSA will require you to disconnect the illegal connections.
If television inspection of the sewer lateral verifies that the lateral is intact and no blockage is found and that there are no illegal connections as outlined in Item #3 (above), then have the plumber contact GHJSA at (570) 454-0851 to report results of the inspection. GHJSA personnel will then inspect the main sewer line for issues.
All property owners should review their homeowner’s or property insurance policies to determine and confirm that they have proper insurance coverage for damages associated with sewer backups or sewer lateral collapses and for repair of the subject sewer line.
Backup Prevention Tips
A property owner can help prevent their sewer lateral and public sewer mains from backing up. Being careful about disposal of certain products will make the systems more efficient, cause fewer backups, and prevent costly clean-ups.
Do not dispose of grease down a sink or wash it down a drain with hot water. Pour cooking oil into a container and dispose of it in the garbage. If grease is poured into a sink or drain, it cools and solidifies causing a constriction and eventually clogging the drain the sewer lateral or the main line.
Illegal Plumbing Connections
Do not connect roof drains, French drains, foundation drains or sump pumps to your sanitary sewer. This is illegal, and debris and silt will clog your line. Consult a plumber to correct any illegal connections.
Please do not flush hypodermic needles into the sewer system! The presence of needles in the wastewater collection system presents special and possible deadly problems for Sewer Authority employees. Please dispose of needles by re-capping and put them into a “sharps container”. (This could be any rigid plastic container such as a bleach bottle. Not milk bottles). When it is full, tape the container securely, and call your local pharmacy for advice on proper disposal methods. Please do not flush or throw them into the garbage.
Paper towels, diapers, disposable wipes (aka “flushable” wipes) and feminine products cause problems in the sewer lateral and public main sewer line. Dispose of these products in the garbage. They do not deteriorate quickly and can get lodged in the lateral or main line causing a sewer backup.
Shrubs and tree roots can make their way into sewer line cracks causing extensive damage. Roots start out small getting into a small crack in the pipe, and grow. Larger roots will break the line, which then allows debris into the line causing a backup. One way to prevent this is to replace old clay pipe with new plastic pipe. Be careful about planting shrubs and trees near your sewer line.
There are many ways to prevent a sewer odor from occurring. Under each drain in your plumbing system, there should be a “P-Trap”. If there is water in this fitting, odors or gases from the sewer cannot enter through the drain from either the property owner’s lateral or the main line. Check to make sure that unused floor drains and sinks have water in the “P-Trap”. Also, ensure that roof vents are free from bird nests, leaves, etc. Clear vents allow sewer odors to escape.
Backup Prevention Devices
There are devices that can be placed on or in the lateral to give protection against a backup. A licensed plumber can advise on such devices and their proper installation and maintenance. It is the responsibility of the property owner to decide the necessity of sewage backup protection or the need for additional homeowner insurance coverage.