Water appeal process
Under the Public Water System Coordination Act of 1977, King County established four Coordination Water System Plans to manage future development of public water supply. The county's priority and policy framework is for development within a water utility retail service area to get water service from that utility. An appeals process was developed to resolve issues related to implementing the plans. Issues subject to resolution include interpretation and application of water utility service area boundaries, proposed schedule for providing service, conditions of service (excluding published rates and fees), annexation provisions imposed as a condition of service, and established minimum design standards.
You must live within the Coordination Water System Plan(s) service area to file a timely and reasonable water service appeal. Within established city limits (incorporated areas), the Coordination Water System Plans utility service area review process does not apply for water service from the city. For appeals under the Coordinated Water System Plans for timely and reasonable water service, use this form. The most common appeal involves timely and reasonable water service, and the form focuses on that type of appeal. However, the form can be used for any appeal under the Public Water System Coordination Act of 1977.
Before filing an appeal with the county, use the utility's dispute resolution process outlined in their water system plan. If the project proponent is still not satisfied, they can submit a timely and reasonable water service appeal to the King County Utilities Technical Review Committee. Other options may include an appeal to the Washington State Department of Health or Superior Court.
To begin an appeal to the committee, submit a Notice and Statement of Appeal along with the appeal fee. The utility that issued the Certificate of Water Availability that is the subject of the appeal will generally file a Response to Notice and Statement of Appeal. The record will also include the county's policies and code for water supply.
The Coordination Water System Plan’s specific Regional Water Association is given an opportunity by the Utilities Technical Review Committee for fact finding and facilitation of a resolution. A Regional Water Association was established during the development of each Coordination Water System Plan, and these have an ongoing function of Coordination Water System Plan implementation. If the appeal is not resolved, the Regional Water Association makes a recommendation to the King County Utilities Technical Review Committee regarding whether the offer of service as documented on the Certificate of Water Availability is timely and/or reasonable. The association then has 45 days to take action.
If the Regional Water Association is unsuccessful in resolving the appeal, the Utilities Technical Review Committee will establish a calendar schedule for filing arguments or positions, consider the written record, and issue a Record of Decision on the appeal. The written record should include the information and evidence contained in the Notice and Statement of Appeal to support the appellant’s position, information from the utility that issued the Certificate of Water Availability in the Response to the Notice and Statement of Appeal; the county's legal and policy framework for water supply; and the Regional Water Authority’s recommendation. The Utilities Technical Review Committee standard for review of the information is a preponderance of the evidence. The committee will issue a Recommendation and Record of Decision on the appeal within 30 days from when the written record is complete. The committee’s decision is final unless appealed to the King County Hearing Examiner.