County Council decides against sewer rate hike

June 21, 2011

By Staff

King County leaders decided against increasing sewer rates for 2012 in a unanimous decision June 13.

The rate remains stable at $36.10 per month for most residential customers. The county provides wastewater treatment to 17 cities, including Issaquah, and 17 local sewer utilities.

Officials use the funds raised through sewer rates for maintaining and operating the regional wastewater system in King County, South Snohomish County and a slice of Pierce County.

The actual amount ratepayers see on bills depends on local sewer utilities. The sewer rate is charged to Issaquah because King County conveys wastewater from city customers to the South Treatment Plant in Renton.

County Executive Dow Constantine recommend against a sewer rate hike in April.

On June 13, the council also approved a sewer capacity charge for new connections to the system in 2012. The charge is $51.95 per month for the average household — a $1.50 increase from the 2011 monthly charge of $50.45. The current rate is meant to ensure adequate wastewater conveyance and that treatment capacity exists to meet the needs of the suburban communities.

The capacity charge is assessed for 15 years after connection as established by code, but property owners can save 5.5 percent if they choose to pay a lump sum up front.

The capacity charge for new sewer hook-ups is paid by owners of newly constructed homes and businesses in order to fund construction of new treatment and conveyance facilities such as Brightwater, a $1.8 billion treatment plant under construction near Woodinville.

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