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Bond refinancing, strong credit, lead to $90 million in ratepayer savings for King County’s sewer utility

Summary

Strong credit ratings and favorable financial market conditions continue to benefit ratepayers served by King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division. The County recently issued $565 million in sewer revenue bonds that will save $90 million over the next 26 years.

Story

King County wastewater infrastructure maintenance and upgrades that protect regional water quality, public health, and the environment will come at a lower cost to area ratepayers following bond refinancing that will yield $90 million in savings over the next 26 years. 

King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division (WTD) recently issued a total of $565 million in sewer revenue bonds and limited-tax general obligation bonds. The average interest rate of the bonds is 1.98% and the average life of the bonds is 12 years. 

Solid credit ratings helped the County secure a low interest rate on these bonds.

In July, Moody’s affirmed the Aa1 rating on WTD's sewer revenue bonds, with a stable outlook. Moody’s cited WTD’s, “stable debt service coverage and liquidity with minor deviations from historical levels,” as part of WTD’s credit strengths. Also, S&P affirmed its AA+ rating, with a stable outlook on WTD’s sewer revenue bonds. S&P cited WTD’s, “transparent and well-defined financial management practices.” 

These ratings are in the second highest rating category of each agency and indicate high credit quality with low credit risk to investors.  

The money borrowed through bond sales is paid back through current and future monthly sewer rates and charges.

FOR MORE INFORMATION, CONTACT:
Marie Fiore, Wastewater Treatment Division, 206-263-0284

About the King County Wastewater Treatment Division
King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division protects public health and enhances the environment by collecting and treating wastewater while recycling valuable resources for the Puget Sound region. The division provides wastewater treatment services to 17 cities, 17 local sewer districts and nearly 2 million residents across a 420-square-mile area in King, Snohomish, and Pierce counties.