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In King County, five treatment plants treat the sewage from 34 local sewage agencies. Residents and businesses who use the sanitary sewer system pay local sewer agencies to transport and treat their wastewater to King County’s system. New connections to the King County sewer system are charged a capacity charge by King County. This charge helps the County cover the costs of sewer improvements and expansion projects.

Industrial users of the sanitary sewer system pay additional fees to King County. These fees help KCIW recover the costs associated with monitoring and administering the pretreatment program. KCIW has four fees:

  • Issuance fees for reviewing and issuing permits and discharge authorizations
  • Compliance monitoring and administration (CM&A) fees for inspections, sampling, laboratory analytical costs, permit management and administrative tasks
  • Surcharge fees for treating high-strength organic waste
  • Post-violation fees for the cost of extra work, including laboratory analysis required when a business does not comply with the regulations 

Issuance fees

What costs do issuance fees for permits and discharge authorizations recover?

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 non-refundable. You must pay this fee even if project plans change and a facility no longer intends to discharge to the sewer system.

Learn more about issuance fees (234KB)

Current issuance fees

New Renewal Revision
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 $800 Not applicable
Not applicable
No Control Document Required Not applicable Not applicable
Not applicable
Verbal Not applicable Not applicable Not applicable

Compliance monitoring and administration fees

What costs do compliance monitoring and administration fees recover?

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 about compliance monitoring and administration fees (258KB)

King County Industrial Waste uses criteria to group similar facilities into tiers. These tiers decide how much a facility will need to pay. All facilities in the same tier pay the same fee. The fee represents the average cost of providing services to these facilities.  

Learn more about the criteria (172KB)

Current compliance monitoring and administration fees

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 Not applicable
Construction Dewatering: Construction activity that involves groundwater dewatering and/or construction stormwater $0 $7,000 $10,000 $17,000 Not applicable Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Non-categorical: Not on the federal categorical list, surcharge, or construction $0 $5,000 $11,000 $20,000 $40,000 Not applicable
Not applicable
Not applicable
Surcharge: Facilities that discharge "high-strength" organic wastewater (for example, from food and beverage processing) $0 $1,700 $3,500 $6,500 $7,000 $8,000 $10,000 $16,000

Surcharge treatment fees for high-strength waste

What costs do surcharge treatment fees for high-strength waste recover?

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.

Facilities that send high-strength organic waste to the sanitary sewer system pay an extra surcharge based on the concentration. The surcharge fee covers the costs of treating high-strength waste sent to treatment plants.

Learn more about 2019 fee changes for surcharge customers

Current surcharge treatment fees for high-strength waste

Fees (effective January 1, 2023) New Fees (effective January 1, 2024)
Biological oxygen demand $0.4193 per pound $0.4419 per pound
Total suspended solids $0.4473 per pound $0.4715 per pound

Post-Violation Inspection and Monitoring Program (PVIMP) fees

What costs do PVIMP fees recover?

Facilities are required to reimburse King County for costs associated with violating wastewater discharge regulations.

PVIMP fees include preparing enforcement documents, performing follow-up inspections, and conducting follow-up sampling and laboratory analysis linked to the violation.

King County code gives the Wastewater Treatment Division the authority to recover costs associated with violations.

Current PVIMP fees

Due to increased costs, KCIW made changes to the PVIMP fees we charge to help us recover our costs resulting from violations. The updated fees became effective on January 1, 2020, and are reviewed annually.

Post-violation inspection and monitoring program fees New fees (effective January 1, 2020)
Full enforcement action $6,750
Enforcement - no further action $3,375
Post-violation inspection  
Inspection1 $900
Sampling Costs2
Grab only sampling $630
Composite sampling - one-day event $810

Composite sampling - two-day event

Analytics costs  
BNA $1,375
BOD7 $625
Cyanide (total)
Cyanide (amenable to chlorination)
FOG (nonpolar) set of three grab samples
FOG (free-floating) grab
No laboratory cost3
FOG (total)
Mercury (total)
Metals (total)
pH (grab)
No laboratory cost3
pH (24-hour continuous)
No laboratory cost3
Settleable solids (SETV)
No laboratory cost3
VOA-(Pharmaceuticals 439)4

Inspection costs include preparation, travel time, conduction of the inspection, and the write-up and documentation of the inspection.

2 Sampling costs include field preparation, sampling equipment calibration, collecting samples, travel time, lab coordination, paperwork, and PIMS work.

3 No laboratory analysis required. The cost of the field measurement is included in the "sampling costs."

4 Cost includes additional lab time for handling.


Fines may be imposed on facilities that have discharge, permit, reporting or King County Code violations. Dischargers are also liable for any damages and additional costs caused by their discharges.

Depending on the nature of the violation, fines of up to $10,000 per violation per day may be assessed.

Can a facility appeal charges, fees, and fines?

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 waste 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 Enforcement Action document. A notice of Violation is not appealable.

How do I pay King County Industrial Waste fees?

Pay online

You can pay the following Industrial Waste fees and charges online:

  • Permit issuance fees
  • Post-violation inspection and monitoring program (PVIMP) charges
  • Penalties 

Instructions for online payment can be found on your invoice.

Pay your King County Industrial Waste fee online

Pay through your local sewer agency

You cannot pay the following Industrial Waste fees online. Your local sewer agency will continue to bill you for these IW fees:

  • Compliance monitoring and administration fees 
  • High-strength surcharge treatment fees

King County fees vs Local Sewer Agency fees

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
King County Industrial Waste program fees
Permit and authorization issuance fees King County
Compliance monitoring and administration fees Local sewage agency
Surcharge treatment for high-strength waste Local sewage agency
Post-violation inspection and monitoring fee King County
Fines  King County
King County Wastewater Treatment division fees 
Sewer use rates Local sewage agency
Capacity charge King County