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Ratepayer Report 2016

Our regional wastewater treatment system has a big job to do. Not only does it operate around the clock to sustain a healthy environment, this vital infrastructure supports economic development that enables our region to thrive.

To keep the system operating reliably as our population grows, King County will need to continue investing in system upgrades and improvements.

This report was developed to share information about the services we provide, and to explain a proposed rate increase of $2.19 scheduled to go into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. Under the proposal, the monthly wholesale sewer rate of $42.03 would increase by $2.19 to $44.22. The capacity charge of $58.70 that newly connecting customers pay in addition to their monthly sewer rate would increase by $2.10 to $60.80.

The sewer rate provides the revenue to operate our regional treatment facilities, and to inspect and maintain crucial equipment. Rate revenue also covers the cost to recycle valuable resources from the wastewater process, including energy, irrigation water and fertilizer replacements. These products support sustainable communities, mitigate climate change impacts and reduce reliance on fossil fuels. By creating resources from wastewater, we are on our way to becoming a carbon neutral utility by 2017.

The capacity charge revenue goes toward new facilities and system upgrades designed to accommodate our growing population. Since 2000, an additional 380,000 people live and work in King County, and making sure our system capacity keeps pace is an important responsibility.

The 2017-2018 rate proposal ensures that the Wastewater Treatment Division continues meeting regulatory requirements under state and federal environmental laws. It supports Duwamish and Puget Sound cleanup goals, funds programs to recycle valuable resources, and safeguards the health of our residents by regulating the disposal of industrial waste. Ratepayer investments also fund emergency preparedness to ensure our facilities are resilient to flooding, earthquakes, and other crises.

Finally, the proposal protects our credit rating so we can continue obtaining favorable interest rates on money we borrow to make capital improvements.

We hope this report increases your understanding of our utility’s commitment to fiscal and environmental stewardship. We appreciate the opportunity to serve you and welcome your questions and comments.


Table of contents

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Ratepayer report  , April 2016, 5.7MB

  • The history of our mission
  • A regional system - serving our local partners and you
  • Our service area and facilities
  • The wastewater treatment process
  • Our services
  • System investments
  • Major projects now underway
  • Protecting our assets and planning for growth, 
  • Where does your money go?
  • The rate and capacity charge—what's the difference? 
  • About us
  • Awards
  • Contact us