Fees and surcharges
King County’s Industrial Waste Program is funded by fees paid by businesses. Each year, KCIW reviews and sets fees to recover the cost of operating the program.The KCIW Program has a new fee structure beginning July 1, 2019.
Click here to learn more about the process to update the fee structure.
Notes for surcharge customers:
- Beginning July 1, 2019, customers who pay a surcharge will pay separately for surcharge treatment costs and compliance monitoring and administrative costs. Previously, those were combined. Learn more about 2019 Fee Changes for Surcharge Customers .
- Year 2020 represents the last year of a 4.5 year period to update the way surcharge fees are calculated. See information about the 2016 Surcharge Fee Update .
KCIW fees and charges
|Permit Level A||$6,000||$4,500||$3,000|
|Permit Level B||$8,000||$6,000||$4,000|
|Permit Level C||$12,000||$9,000||$6,000|
|Major Discharge Authorization||$3,000||$2,250||$1,500|
|Minor Discharge Authorization||$2,000||$1,500||$1,000|
|Letter of Authorization||$1,500||$1,125||$750|
|Letter of Authorization–Zero Discharge Categorical
||Not applicable||Not applicable||Not applicable|
|General Letter of Authorization–Construction
|No Control Document Required||Not applicable
This annual fee pays for the cost of inspections, sampling, lab analyses, data review, overall management of the permit, administrative tasks, and technical assistance. Learn more: Compliance Monitoring and Administration Fees .
KCIW uses criteria to group similar facilities into tiers to determine the fees they pay. All facilities in the same tier pay the same fee, which reflects the average cost of providing service to those facilities.
|Type of Facility||Tier 1||Tier 2||Tier 3||Tier 4||Tier 5||Tier 6||Tier 7||Tier 8|
|Categorical: Regulated by Title 40 Code of Federal Regulations||$0||$1,700||$4,000||$8,000||$12,000||$20,000||$50,000||N/A|
|Construction Dewatering: Construction activity that involves groundwater dewatering and/or construction stormwater||$0||$7,000||$10,000||$17,000||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Non-Categorical: Not on the federal categorical list, surcharge, or construction||$0||$5,000||$11,000||$20,000||$40,000||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Surcharge: Facilities that discharge “high-strength” organic wastewater (i.e., from food & beverage processing)||$0||$1,700||$3,500||$6,500||$7,000||$8,000||$10,000||$16,000|
N/A = not applicable
|New Fees effective January 1, 2020|
|Biological oxygen demand
|Total suspended solids
Over the last five years, the cost of processing the violations has increased but KCIW has not increased the fees for companies who violate the rules. KCIW is now making changes to the PVIMP fees we charge to help us recover our costs resulting from the violation. The updated fees will be effective on January 1, 2020.
|Post-violation inspection and monitoring program fees
||New Fees effective January 1, 2020|
|Full enforcement action||$6,750
|Enforcement - no further action||$3,375|
|Grab only sampling||$630|
|Composite sampling - 1-day event||$810|
|Composite sampling - 2-day event||$1,080|
| Cyanide, total
|Cyanide, amenable to chlorination||$625|
|FOG (nonpolar) set of three grab samples||$375
| FOG (free-floating) grab
||No laboratory cost3|
| Metals, total
|pH (grab)||No laboratory cost3
| pH (24-hour continuous)
||No laboratory cost3
| Settleable solids (SETV)
|Turbidity||No laboratory cost3
| VOA-(Pharmaceuticals 439)4
2 Sampling costs include field preparation, sampling equipment calibration, collecting samples, travel time, lab coordination, paperwork, and PIMS work.
3 No laboratory analysis required; cost of the field measurement is included in "sampling costs."
4 Cost includes additional lab time for handling.
Up to $10,000 per violation per day, depending on the nature of the violation.
Frequently asked questions
- Issuance fees for permits and authorizations
Issuance fees recover the cost of reviewing the application and issuing a permit or discharge authorization to send industrial waste to the sanitary sewer system. The permit or discharge authorization lasts up to five years. This fee is not refundable and must be paid even if project plans change and a facility no longer intends to discharge to the sewer system.
- Compliance monitoring and administration fees
This annual fee pays for the cost of inspections, sampling time, lab analyses, data review, overall management of the permit or authorization, administrative tasks, and technical assistance.
- Surcharge Treatment fees for high-strength waste
Facilities that send “high-strength” or more concentrated waste to the sewer system pay an extra surcharge based on how much material is in their wastewater. High-strength waste contains a higher concentration of total suspended solids (TSS) and biochemical oxygen demand (BOD) than typical wastewater. BOD is a measure of organic material that uses up oxygen in the water. The surcharge fee covers the cost of treating this high-strength waste at the treatment plants.
- Post-Violation Inspection and Monitoring Program (PVIMP) fees
Facilities that violate the regulations are required to reimburse King County for the costs associated with the violation. PVIMP fees include the costs of preparing enforcement documents, performing inspections, conducting sampling and laboratory analysis associated with the violation. Based on King County Code, the Wastewater Treatment Division seeks to recover the full cost associated with violations from those facilities that violate the rules.
King County Code specifies an appeal procedure for compliance, monitoring and administration tier placement, surcharge waste strength, violations, and penalties.
To appeal the surcharge high-strength concentration, facilities must establish that the assigned concentration of the wastewater is incorrect. Consult with the assigned KCIW compliance investigator to learn more about this process.
KCIW provides appeal procedures to those being fined when it provides the Notice of Violation or Enforcement Action document.
No. Issuance fees are designed to recover the cost of reviewing the application and issuing the approval. The fee is billed when the facility receives the permit or authorization. It is not refundable because it is charging for work that has already been performed.
As a facility, you pay both industrial waste fees and sewer use rates. King County treats the sewage from 34 local sewage agencies at five treatment plants. The local agencies bill residents and businesses for sewer use, which pays for the costs of conveying and treating wastewater, and industrial waste fees, which pay for program costs associated with monitoring and administering the pretreatment program.
King County directly charges a capacity charge for new connections to the system. The capacity charge helps King County cover the cost of sewer improvements and expansion projects needed to serve growth in the region. You can find more information about King County sewer charges by reading the Rate Payer Report.
|Fee/Charge||Bill paid to|
Industrial Waste Program Fees
Permit/authorization Issuance fees
Compliance Monitoring and Administration fees
|Local sewage agency|
Surcharge Treatment for High-Strength Waste
|Local sewage agency|
Post-Violation Inspection and Monitoring Program fees
|Wastewater Treatment Division Fees|
Sewer use rates
|Local sewage agency|
Not at this time.
- Learn more about the new fee structure
- Adopted Ordinance 18851 , approved December 2018
- Final Public Rule PUT 8-24 (PR) - King County Industrial Waste Fees , Effective July 1, 2019
- Fact Sheets: