CHADRON, NE — The Chadron Record reported that the high cost of carwash sludge disposal is causing trouble for business owners. Lisa Westerbuhr of Bruns Laundry and Carwash said in the story that the $75 per 1,000 gallon charge has a negative impact on businesses that produce liquid waste.
The Sept. 18 story stated that, according to Westerbuhr, other cities and townships pay a far smaller fee for the disposal of liquid wastes. She pointed out that the city of Gering only charges $17.50 per 1,000 gallons for residents. “Our fees are comparable to those on the eastern end of the state, but we aren’t on the eastern end,” she said in the story.
Westerbuhr added that she already pays a large sewage fee, so the additional liquid waste fee “feels like we get hit coming and going.”
The city incurs costs for treating both septic wastes and carwash sludge, Public Works Superintendent Milo Rust noted in the story. Charging different amounts for septic or sludge disposal might be valid, he said, but the fee for septic disposal should reflect the cost of treatment.
“Other communities may charge less than Chadron, because they have lagoon systems rather than mechanical treatment,” Rust said in the story. “Any liquid we have has to go through treatment. With a lagoon system, it doesn’t go through a treatment system.”
City council members were sympathetic with Westerbuhr’s financial situation, and asked Rust to investigate the actual cost of liquid waste disposal in Chadron and report back. The fee ordinance in Chadron was passed, but the city council left room for an amendment to the fee once Rust finished his report.