The Board of Commissioners adopted rates and charges for 2022 (and beyond) at the December 9th regular Board meeting. Adoption of the rates followed review of a rate study provided by FCS Group, the District’s rate consultant and a public hearing held during the Board’s October 28th meeting. Under the new rates, the cost for water for the average single-family residential customer (approx. 5200 gallons per month) inside the City of Federal Way will increase from $25.69 per month in 2021 to $26.73 per month in 2022. Water rates for customers outside of the City of Federal Way will increase from $25.22 to $26.43. Note that, even with the application of the City’s 7.75% excise tax on water system revenues, water rates are only slightly higher in Federal Way due to the fact that the City pays for the cost of fire suppression capacity in the water system. Similar water rates increases are planned for the next several years.
Sewer rates for the average single-family residential customer inside the City of Federal Way will increase from $42.01 per month to $46.39 per month. Outside the City, the rates will increase from $38.87 per month to $42.98 per month. Rates inside the Federal Way are higher due to the excise tax applied to sewer revenues. The small number of customers with wastewater flows treated by King County or Pierce County will have slightly higher rates due to the higher cost of treatment. As with water, similar rate increases are planned for the next several years.
The Board also updated the District’s Capital Facilities Charge for the water and sewer system. These charges, which allocate to each property a pro rata share of all shared system costs, are collected when new properties connect to the water and/or sewer system. With the update, the cost of connecting one single family residence to the water system will increase from $4,422 to $4,731. The cost of connecting to the sewer system will rise from $4,283 to $4,677.
Rates for multi-family and commercial customers will see similar increases under the new rate model. At the present time, the Board has determined to wait until more is known about the cost of the King County Rental Charge to establish a charge to customers in the unincorporated areas of King County.
Despite these increases, the costs for water and sewer service provided by the District remain near the lowest in the region. Please make sure to review the District’s annual rate survey, which will appear in the next Newsletter, for a comparison of District rates with those charged by other agencies.