What is Sewer Treatment Capacity Charge?

Homebuying is full of charges and fees that you might not be expecting or anticipating, and today we are going to talk about another little known charge. If you are buying a home in King or Snohomish County that was built in the last 15 years, this article may apply to you! Read on to find out more about the Sewer Treatment Capacity Charge.

You might be wondering what exactly the sewer capacity charge is. It is a charge that is billed to residents that are in the King County water treatment service area in addition to sewer service. The charge is only billed to customers who connected to the King County sewer system after Feb. 1, 1990. The purpose of the charge is to help the county's waste water treatment plants keep up with the growth in our area. When more people connect to the sewer service, the county has to add more pipes, more workers, new pump stations, new treatment plants, etc. The sewer capacity charge helps to offset those costs for the county. The money for the sewer capacity charge goes to expand the capacity of the current King County waste water treatment systems and also to build new water treatment facilities when needed.

Every property that was connected to the King County sewer system on or after the Feb 1, 1990 cut off date is required to pay the sewer capacity charge. The charge is dispersed out over a 15 year period, so if you are buying a house that is less than 15 years old, you will have an additional monthly cost to deal with. The 2012 capacity charge is an additional $51.95 per month. The charge is billed every three months for 15 years, or until the property's charge is paid in full. Multifamily housing and non residential housing will have their own different charges for the sewer capacity charge, and you can contact the King County Capacity Charge Program staff to find out about those fees. You should also know that any time during the fifteen year charge period you can pay off the remaining amount at a discount.

The sewer capacity charge is the responsibility of the current owner to take care of. The reason for this is because the charge is triggered by the connection to the King County sewer system and not by a new development. One good thing about the charge is that any increases are not applied retroactively. Your charge will stay the same for the entire duration. The only way that an increase will apply is to new connections only and will not be applied retroactively. If you purchase a house from a previous owner, you will be responsible for the remainder of the fifteen years of charges that are left. You will receive a capacity charge bill every three months in addition to your regular sewer bill from your sewer service provider. It is very important that you pay your sewer capacity service charges every time you get a bill for them. Not paying this fee can result in a lien being placed on your property. This can happen if you have unpaid or delinquent charges.If you have any additional questions about the sewer treatment capacity charge, feel free to ask your real estate agent. They will be happy to help answer any questions that you may have!

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All information provided is deemed reliable but is not guaranteed and should be independently verified.