The Regional District of North Okanagan is looking at septic disposal fees.

The Regional District of North Okanagan is looking at septic disposal fees.

Septic fees reviewed

RDNO gets concerns from customers about disposal fees

Officials are trying to flush out alternatives to keep septic customers happy.

Two high-volume users of the Regional District of North Okanagan’s septage treatment plant are expressing concerns about the cost every time they dispose of waste.

“We are heavily exposed if they find another alternative,” said director Bob Fleming of the possibility of clients shipping waste out of town to more affordable facilities.

“We could lose 52 per cent of our volume revenue.”

The two businesses, which are on holding tanks, are in the accommodations sector.

The 2016 operating budget for the plant is about $556,000, which comes from a combination of parcel tax and user fees.

Disposal fee revenue for 2016 is projected to exceed $300,000 while the operating reserve has a balance of more than $600,000.

“This service is running a surplus of $72,000,” said Fleming.

“It shouldn’t be the intention of this service to make a profit.”

Revenue has climbed over the last two years because of a new hotel.

It’s been suggested that there could be a discount for large volume customers.

However, not everyone embraces that idea.

“If we’re going to do it, do it for everyone,” said director Akbal Mund of small-volume and residential customers.

Ultimately, the board has instructed staff to investigate options for disposal fee discounts and the financial implications for the facility.

“We want to make sure disposal is affordable and people don’t follow less than acceptable solutions,” said director Hank Cameron.

“Sometimes there are do it yourself solutions that aren’t acceptable.”