Included with your bill is the “2023 Water and Sewer Rate Survey”. The survey compares the rates you pay for water and sewer service with the rates paid by the customers of neighboring utilities.
The rates we show in the survey are the rates charged to residential customers inside the City of Federal Way, the largest geographic portion of our service area. Federal Way charges the District an excise tax on water and sewer revenues within the City of 7.75% and these are passed on to customers, although the increase in water rates is much smaller due to an offset provided by Federal Way paying the District’s hydrant charge. The City of Auburn charges an 11.5% tax on water and sewer revenues from customers within Auburn, which are also included in rates. Water rate customers outside of Federal Way and Auburn are lower and, except for a relatively small number of District customers within areas that flow to Tacoma and King County for wastewater treatment, sewer rates in other parts of the service area are lower as well.
Most cities impose utility taxes on the water and sewer rates they charge. For any given city in the survey, we are uncertain whether rates shown by the city include those taxes. Additionally, some agencies in the survey charge different summer and water rates to residential customers. Where that is the case, we show a blended rate to provide the average cost of water over a year.