Sewer rates could be going up 6.3% soon in Kitsap County.
County Commissioners will hold a public hearing Oct. 23 on the new sewer rate schedule.
The Sewer Utility division of Kitsap County Public Works recently conducted an analysis and is proposing increases across the board for 2024 and 2025.
The proposed rates are to cover operation and maintenance costs as well as provide required revenues to cover future bonds and loans funding capital improvement projects, the county’s website states.
Monthly sewer charges for single-family residents are $92.24 but are proposed to increase to $98.06 in 2024 and $104.25 in 2025. Monthly rates for multifamily residential are $73.52 and could increase to $78.16 in 2024 and $83.09 in 2025.
Commercial and industrial rates are $0.131 per cubic feet of water and are proposed to increase to $0.139 in 2024 and $0.148 in 2025. Increases are also anticipated for restaurants. Current monthly rates are $0.209 per cubic feet of water and could increase to $0.222 in 2024 and $0.236 in 2025.
Navy Yard City monthly sewer rates are also proposed to increase. Monthly single-family residential rates are $83.02 and could increase to $93.16 in 2024 and $104.25 in 2025. For multifamily residential, monthly rates are $66.17 but could increase to $74.25 in 2023 and $83.09 in 2025.
Same goes for commercial and industrial. Current monthly rates are $0.118 per cubic feet of water and could increase to $0.132 in 2024 and $0.148 in 2025. For restaurants, the monthly rate is $0.188 per cubic feet of water but could increase to $0.211 in 2024 and $0.236 in 2025.
Compared to other local jurisdictions, the county’s proposed monthly sewer rate for single-family residential in 2024 is on the high side at $98.06. Bainbridge Island’s monthly rate is $105.20, followed by Poulsbo at $87.62, Port Orchard at $81.50, Bremerton at $74.96 and West Sound Utilities at $67.68.
A senior/low-income discount is given to customers who meet the assessor’s criteria for the Senior/Disable Exemption on property taxes. Their discount on sewer accounts is 25%.
The Sewer Utility is funded through fees from ratepayers—98% comes from residential customers. Services paid for by sewer fees include:
- Operating four sewage treatment facilities with state-certified operators, laboratory analysts, and technical staff to meet state and federal requirements. The treatment plants have received numerous awards.
- Maintenance, repair and replacement of all mechanical and electrical equipment at the county’s sewage treatment plants and 64 sewage pump stations. Properly maintained equipment reduces energy use and provides for a more efficient conveyance system.
- Collections, repair and replacement of 152 miles of gravity pipe, 48 miles of pressure pipe and five miles of outfall (discharge) pipe, along with associated appurtenances such as 3,760 manholes throughout the county. Collections staff rotate to provide 24-hour emergency response.
- Engineering review and construction inspection of developer-funded sewer system designs to ensure compliance with county and state standards and codes. Manage assets and permit property owners to connect to the county’s sewer systems.
- Administration of the Sewer Utility programs, including billing, customer service, adherence to county and state regulations, and education and outreach to the public.
- Bond obligations – annual payments for revenue bonds the Sewer Utility has issued to construct large capital projects. The term of the bonds is typically 20 years.
- Capital projects to upgrade outdated infrastructure, most of which is 45+ years of age, improvements to manage future energy use, meet changes in regulation requirements, and increase sewer system capacity for the county’s growing population.
Capital projects completed or under construction in 2023 include:
- Solids Facilities upgrades: Repairs to digesters at Central Kitsap Treatment Plant necessary for health and safety of employees and to maintain the biosolids permit while long-term solids facilities are evaluated. Estimated cost $65.3 million.
- Bangor/Keyport forcemain replacement: Replace five miles of forcemain from Bangor base to the CK Treatment Plant in Brownsville. A portion of this forcemain from Highway 308 to CKTP includes Poulsbo and Keyport base sewage flows. Estimated cost $23 million.
- Pump Station 4 and conveyance improvements: The project will increase capacity and upgrade the station at Fredrickson and Bucklin Hill roads in Silverdale. Also includes replacement of gravity sewer main and piping along portions of those roads, along with portions of Carlton and Lowell streets and McConnell Avenue. Estimated cost $12.16 million.
- Silverdale Pump Station upgrades: This is part of a larger project to replace and upgrade outdated sewer infrastructure in Silverdale. Estimated cost $6.29 million
- CK Treatment Plant upgrades: Replacement of inefficient and obsolete HVAC systems for the accredited laboratory, the headworks building, and the process building. Estimated cost $1.75 million.
- Suquamish Treatment Plant pipe replacement: Replacement of deteriorated process piping throughout the plant. Estimated cost $1.5 million.
- Chico Creek Bridge forcemain replacement: Move forcemain in roadway to new bridge installed by state Department of Transportation. Estimated cost $350,000.