DC Water’s System Availability Fee Goes Into Effect Today

June 01, 2018

DC Water is reminding DCRA permit applicants that DC Water’s new System Availability Fee (SAF) will go into effect on June 1, 2018.
The fee is placed on construction projects for new water and sewer connections and for renovation or redevelopment projects for existing connections to recover the proportionate share of the increased costs associated with the new or larger water and sewer demands place on the District’s drinking water and wastewater infrastructure.
“Assessing a system availability fee on new construction is consistent with the practices of many jurisdictions and the most effective and fairest way to assess the fee is using the domestic water demand or meter size as an indicator.  As the available capacity in our system is utilized by new city-wide development it is appropriate to apportion a commensurate amount of the debt burden to new development,” said Brian McDermott, head of permit operations.
The goal is to recover the proportionate share of the costs associated with the water and wastewater infrastructure.
As in other cities where this fee is assessed on new construction, the SAF is scaled to the size of the project. The fee will cover water and wastewater storage, transmission and treatment systems.
Discussion about the fee dates back to 2015 when the DC Water Board of Directors began reviewing this concept. The plan was opened up for public comment and the fees were approved in 2016 with an effective date of January 1, 2018. However, in December of 2017, the Board announced that it planned to revise the effective date to June 1, 2018 and make other changes to clarify the documents used to determine the SAF meter size, and address impacts to affordable housing development. The Board approved the final amendments at the May Board meeting.
For more information about the SAF, please visit: https://www.dcwater.com/system-availability-fee