Sewer Billing - FAQs
What is a Sewer Service Fee?
The Sewer Service Fee, as defined in Chapter 8.03.1834 of the Spokane County Code (SCC) is a fee charged on all properties connected to the system of sewerage (*or having passed a deadline for connection to the system of sewerage) for purposes of defraying the costs of operating, maintaining and repairing the system of sewerage. The wastewater treatment plant charge is a component of the sewer service fee.
*County Code 8.03.8520 - Sewer Service Fees: Billing of sewer service fees will commence upon connection of the parcel to the system of sewerage (including parcels connected to interim sewage facilities) or at the end of the connection period established by the director for the parcel (in accordance with Section 8.033040(e)(2)), whichever occurs earlier.
For more information on sewer connection deadlines, please contact (509) 477-3604.
What is Operation & Maintenance (O&M)?
Operation & Maintenance (O&M) usually refers to your monthly sewer service bill.
How is the monthly O&M charge calculated?
2013 Sewer Rates - Effective January 1, 2013
What is a Capital Facilities Rate (CFR)?
The Capital Facilities Rate (CFR) is the charge for design and construction of the sewage system, proportioned to each property within the sewer project. The General Facilities Charge (GFC) is included in the CFR.
If you sell your property, the balance of the CFR may be paid off at the time of sale or may be assumed by the new owner.
The CFR charge is not an assessment and will not show up on a title search.
This charge will need to be disclosed by the owner when you are preparing to sell the property. Please contact Spokane County Division of Utilities to request a Sewer Summary Form.
What is a Prepayment Period for the Capital Facilities Rate (CFR)?
The Prepayment Period is the 30-day period immediately prior to commencement of the CFR billing, wherein the property owner can prepay the entire CFR and avoid interest charges.
What is a General Facilities Charge (GFC)?
The General Facilities Charge (GFC) is a one time charge that can be paid all at once or over a 24 month interest-free period. This charge is to purchase "space" in the City of Spokane's Waste Treatment Facility. Spokane County pays the City of Spokane for the amount of sewage the County dumps into the City's Waste Treatment Facility.
Homes that are in an area formerly served by an interim treatment plant are charged a GFC once the treatment plant is abandoned and the area is connected to a sewer line which flows to the City's Treatment Facility.
Some homes are included in a Utilities Local Improvement District (U.L.I.D.). The GFC for these homes is included in the sewer assessment fees which are billed annually (with the property taxes) from the County Treasurer's Office.
What is an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU)?
One Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) is equal to 800 cubic feet of metered water usage per month. Each single-family residence, mobile home (where two or less occupy the same parcel) and each half of a duplex dwelling unit is deemed to represent one ERU. Each multi-family dwelling unit is deemed to represent 0.7 of an ERU. Each commercial unit and manufactured home park is assigned one ERU for each 800 cubic feet of metered water usage per month.
What are the current sewer charges and rates?
GENERAL FACILITIES CHARGES (per Equivalent Residential Unit ERU)
General Facilities Charge (GFC)
January 1, 2008
January 1, 2010
January 1, 2011
January 1, 2012
Elimination of subsurface effluent discharge
CAPITAL FACILITIES RATES (per Equivalent Residential Unit "ERU")
Prepayment Option (interest free) --- Monthly Payment Option (includes interest and bond charges):
- 2011 Projects $5915.00----$42.75/mo for 240 months
- 2010 Projects $5780.00----$41.80/mo for 240 months
- 2009 Projects $5650.00----$40.85/mo for 240 months
- 2008 Projects $5520.00----$39.90/mo for 240 months
- 2007 Projects $5395.00----$39.10/mo for 240 months
- 2006 Projects $5275.00----$38.25/mo for 240 months
- 2005 Projects $5160.00----$37.45/mo for 240 months
- 2004 Projects $5050.00----$36.65/mo for 240 months
- 2003 Projects $4950.00----$36.00/mo for 240 months
- 2002 Projects $4950.00----$36.00/mo for 240 months
- 2001 Projects $4685.00----$35.00/mo for 240 months
2013 SEWER SERVICE FEES
2013 Sewer Rates - Effective January 1, 2013
When are the monthly sewer bills mailed?
Charges for the sewer service are billed on a monthly basis, during the first five (5) business days of the month.
Payments of all charges on the sewer bill are due and payable before the 25th day of the month billed, or the next business day following the 25th if that date falls on a weekend or holiday.
When charges on a monthly sewer bill are not received by the due date, such charges become delinquent and are subject to late payment penalties and interest.
When is my monthly bill due?
Payments for the monthly sewer services are due by the 25th day of each month or the following business day should the 25th fall on a weekend or holiday.
If the charges on a monthly sewer bill are not paid when due, there shall be added to the charges a one-time late payment penalty of ten percent (10%) of the latest billed amount. Additionally, eight percent (8%) interest per annum (per year) will be applied to all sewer charges that have not been paid by the due date from the date due until paid.
If you are concerned about your monthly billing statement, please contact our office at (509) 477-3604 between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.
How is my payment credited to my account?
Typically, payments are applied to the oldest charges first.
However, once a lien has been established only payments satisfying the lien in its entirety will be accepted in release of the lien. Other payments may be accepted, but will be applied against charges not included in the lien.
What happens if I don't pay my monthly sewer bill?
If the charges on a monthly sewer bill are not paid when due, a one-time late payment penalty of ten percent (10%) of the latest billed amount are added to the charges.
Additionally, interest is attached and accrued on unpaid charges computed at a rate of eight percent (8%) per annum starting on the next day after the billing due date until paid. Interest is computed on the entire unpaid balance, excluding lien certification costs.
Accounts that are in excess of sixty (60) days delinquent may receive a lien warning letter. The letter will be mailed to interested parties known to the Division of Utilities (known parties may include Owner, Mortgage Company, Landlord and Occupant in the case of rental property) regarding the delinquent amount. The warning letter will list the amount of charges in arrears, and will explain that the customer must pay the charges in full, or arrange for a payment plan within 30 days from the date of the warning letter. The warning letter will also provide notice that under the Revised Code of Washington, Spokane County may bring a foreclosure action against the property sixty (60) days after the attachment of the lien.
A lien may be attached to the property if the responsible parties do not respond to the warning letter within 30 days of the notice. After 30 days have elapsed, the County will proceed with the lien action if no arrangements have been made or full payment has not been received.
The lien will be filed for all delinquent rates, fees and/or charges due in accordance with Spokane County Ordinance 8.03.9040 (Payment-Delinquency-Lien). The lien amount will include late payment penalties together with accrued interest at eight percent (8%) per annum from the date due until paid. The lien will attach and foreclose pursuant to RCW 36.94.150.
The County will update the lien on the property for any new delinquent amounts periodically. Additional warning letters will be sent, as a courtesy, followed by the new lien action unless payment arrangements are made or full payment has been received.
The monthly billing statements will show that a lien exists and will give the sum of all charges, for which a lien has been filed.
Typically, payments are applied to the oldest charges first. However, once a lien has been established, only payments satisfying the lien in its entirety will be accepted in release of the lien. Other payments may be accepted, but will be applied against charges not included in an attached lien.
Where do I mail my payment?
For regular payments:
Spokane County Utilities
P.O. Box 2355
Spokane, WA 99210-2355
For lien payoffs, Payment Arrangements, CFR, GFC, SCC prepayments, partial payments and payoffs:
Spokane County Utilities / Billing
1026 West Broadway Avenue, 4th Floor
Spokane, WA 99260-0430
All sewer charges, fees, penalties and interest shall be paid by the property owner or by a tenant or agent whom the property owner has authorized in writing for the Utilities Division to bill; provided that each property owner shall remain fully responsible for all sewer charges, fees, penalties, and interest with respect to his/her property, whether such charges were incurred by or on account of him/herself or on account of some other person or business.
If you are the owner of rented or leased property, please contact our office to request courtesy copies of the monthly bill.
What is a Reduced Rate Residence?
It is a 20% discount of the monthly sewer service fees for a qualifying low-income senior or disabled property owner's single-family residence or duplex dwelling unit.
To qualify, the property owner must have an active Property Tax Exemption for that residence.