Seneca County – Water and Sewer Operations (2017M-4)

Issued Date
June 02, 2017

Purpose of Audit

The purpose of our audit was to assess the County’s water and sewer operations for the period January 1, 2015 through November 1, 2016.


Seneca County is located in the Finger Lakes region of western New York, has a population of approximately 35,000 and encompasses 10 towns and four villages. The County is governed by an elected 14-member Board of Supervisors. Water district appropriations for 2016 were $571,784 and the combined sewer districts’ appropriations were $650,025.

Key Findings

  • The Board did not establish policies and procedures governing the financial operations of the water and sewer districts.
  • Formal written agreements had lapsed or no evidence was presented to indicate that an agreement was ever initiated with two of five municipal water and sewer customers, the four largest commercial customers and two water and sewer service providers.
  • The Board did not analyze user rates for either sewer district to ensure the rates were adequate for each district’s operational needs.

Key Recommendations

  • Establish written policies and procedures over the County water and sewer districts’ financial operations.
  • Ensure written agreements are established with all municipal and commercial water and sewer customers and service providers, with clearly defined terms and expectations.
  • Prepare a cost analysis to calculate the necessary sewer rates to be billed.