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Sewage Smells Sweet For Sacramento Economy


The Sacramento City Council will decide this week whether two development projects should receive a special sewer connection credit.  It seems sewage is a viable economic indicator.

The City of Sacramento measures all waste volume in terms of the amount of waste produced by a single-family. The metric is called an ESD or equivalent-single-family dwelling.

Sabrina Tefft is with the City's Economic Development Department.  She says using that metric, the City offers a credit to developers or new businesses that saves them money on connecting to the city's sewer system during the first year of operation.

"I think it's a real incentive. It's a real benefit for them because a lot of times, people don't expect this fee and so they get hit with it while they're going through the process."

She says demand for credits this year has already tripled the average annual demand for the past five years. 

Each ESD credit is worth between $1950 and $3000.

Tefft says projects applying for credits this year include the Warren Apartments, the East End Gateway and the new downtown arena.

To put the amount of waste a business uses in perspective, a dental office produces as much waste as one single family home, a restaurant as much as five homes.

The City says the arena could have as many as 800 ESD's.

If so, the Sacramento Kings will save about $1.5 million in two years because of the credits. 

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