the first time since 1996, side sewer and drainage permit
fees in Seattle are going up.
These fees are being increased both to adjust for inflation
and to fully cover costs. Effective Feb. 28, 2005, this change
affects permit applications for a side sewer or service drain
connection, repair, alteration or addition.
Previously, side sewer and drainage permit fees never covered
more than 40 percent of the City's program administration
costs. The City's costs for this permitting program total
approximately $1.5 million per year, while revenues in 2004
(and prior years) have averaged about $650,000 per year.
In the 2005 budget process, the City made the decision to
increase side sewer and drainage permit fees to cover all
costs, which necessitated large increases in these fees. Fee
information, resources and key contacts are available at right.
Frequently Asked Questions
What City of Seattle functions (costs) are covered by
the new side sewer and drainage permit fees?
Four main City functions are involved in the permitting process:
- application intake and review process
- site inspection
- program administration (public/customer information, staff
- side sewer and drainage record keeping, which is now performed
digitally using the City's Geographic Information System
All of the new side sewer and drainage permit fees include
a component for these four functions--except the side sewer
repair permit fee, which is discounted to reflect the lower
level of inspections and recording effort the City incurs
for these types of permits. All the new fees include applicable
City and State taxes.
The new fee for side sewer and drainage installations,
connections, alterations, and relocations is $375? What is
included in the fee?
This fee covers the City's cost of receiving and reviewing
a customer's application, up to one hour of inspection time.
It also includes two hours for recording and digitizing any
changes made by the customer to a side sewer and/or drain
line associated with an application. Each hour of City time
is priced at $85/hour, which includes program administration
City and State B&O taxes are also added to this fee.
Side sewer repair permits, which require a lower level of
inspection and recording effort on the part of the City, are
set at $280. If a permit requires more than one of hour of
inspection time, extra hours are billed at $155 per hour.
Is the City doing anything to reduce the costs of obtaining
side sewer and drainage permit connection fees?
The City continues to work on improving online resources
to save customers time and money during the permitting process
and to ensure accuracy of information. For example, side
sewer cards (drawings of the locations of side sewers
and drain connections) for every property in the City were
made available online in 2003 via the City's GIS. Now, a contractor,
citizen or other party who needs a side sewer and/or drainage
permit can obtain information about the location, age, and
history of alterations of their side sewer and/or drain line
from their computer at their home or office. Prior to 2003,
the customer had to make a two (or more) hour trip to downtown
City offices to get a hard copy of this information.
of fees by category - excerpted from Side
Sewer Fee Ordinance (#121666)
Side Sewer Fee Schedule, clarifies
the intent of the ordinance and provides examples
of the new fees.
Side Sewer Program - provides permit application
and inspection instructions
regulations - links to side sewer and stormwater
codes and related rules
sewer cards - online tool providing location,
age, and history of alterations to side sewer
and/or drain lines
Seattle Dept. of Planning
and Development (DPD)
& Sewer Review Desk, 20th floor, Seattle
Seattle Public Utilities (SPU)
31st floor, Seattle Muni Tower, (206) 684-5800
Seattle Dept. of Transportation (SDOT)
Use Permit Center
37th floor, Seattle Muni Tower, (206) 684-5253
Seattle Municipal Tower is located at 700 Fifth
Ave. in downtown Seattle. Directions