Sewer abatements are once per account lifetime requests to reduce sewer fees for water that did not end up in the sewer from outside watering, broken pipes, leaking appliances, etc.
Section 24-76(d) of the “Code of Ordinances, City of Portland, Maine” reads as follows:
“Review. Any person subject to charges under this article may make a written request for review of such charges by the City Manager as provided in section 1-16 of this code. The City Manager may review and modify such charges, to the extent justice requires, upon affirmative proof by such person that:
(1) The volume of metered water consumed exceeds the volume of sewage generated by the unit;
(2) The difference between the volume of water and of the sewage exceeds ten (10%) per cent of the metered water measurement.
(3) The amount of the difference can be established by a substantial certainty by reliable tests or is documented by reliable sources for purposes unconnected with sewage disposal; and
(4) Measurement by the measuring devices for in the preceding subsections is impossible or impractical.
The City of Portland provides several avenues for sewer use charge relief: (1) the right to purchase and install a “submeter” via the Portland Water District and (2) a formal request to the City Manager via Public Works Department using this form.
The request to the City Manager is a “one time only” relief. To avoid excess sewer charges for outside watering, consider getting a submeter.
Questions regarding sewer abatements can be sent to BNP@portlandmaine.gov or at 207-874-8843