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The City of Redmond provides water and wastewater services to our customers. To ensure continued dependability for users, water distribution and wastewater conveyance systems must be maintained, upgraded, and replaced. New facilities must also be provided as additional demands are made on these systems. The cost of providing these services is recovered through connection charges and rates. More customers means lower rates per customer.
Approximately 65% of the water consumed by customers in Redmond is purchased from Cascade Water Alliance with the remainder coming from the City's own wells. King County’s Wastewater Treatment Division charges Redmond to treat the wastewater generated from our customers. Their wastewater treatment rates are passed directly to our customers. These regional costs make up a significant portion of our customers' water and wastewater charges.
The Novelty Hill service area is operated as an independent utility from the City of Redmond service area. All utility rates are developed through an analysis of the costs to operate and maintain the system, as well as the cost for replacement of aging infrastructure, and then those costs are shared between the rate payers. The Novelty Hill system assets and number of rate payers are a lot different from the City of Redmond systems. Some notable differences between the two systems are that the Novelty Hill service area can only receive water from the Cascade Water Alliance supply, rather than having an independent well supply like the City system. The wastewater system for the Novelty Hill service area must also convey wastewater a longer distance to connect to the King County system, due to its location.
Several factors contributed to increases to rates:
The stormwater rate covers the City's costs to provide stormwater services to customers. Each developed parcel in the City is subject to the stormwater utility charge. Drainage from most properties enters or impacts the City stormwater system in some manner. Vehicles traveling to those parcels impact stormwater on the City streets. Stormwater facilities, which include pipes and catch basins in City streets and treatment and flow control facilities require continual maintenance and improvement.
The stormwater utility supports capital improvement projects for flood control, erosion, conveyance improvements, and regional water quality or detention facilities. The utility also monitors and improves the health of local streams, constructs habitat improvement projects, and responds to State and Federal regulatory and permitting requirements. The cost to finance these services is recovered through user fees and rates.
Increasing regulatory requirements, inflationary increases to operation and maintenance costs, along with the need to replace aging infrastructure all contribute to the need to increase stormwater rates.