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Water and Wastewater Service Review

 

The King County Utilities Technical Review Committee (UTRC) has multiple purposes and responsibilities identified in Chapter 13 and elsewhere in the King County Code (KCC). The Committee is charged with reviewing and making required findings for site-specific development issues related to:

 

  • Construction of sewer lines or extension of sewer service into rural areas;
  • Whether or not sewer service is available in a timely and reasonable manner within the urban area; and
  • Implementation of the Coordinated Water System Plans.

Wastewater

The KCC requires all new development within the Urban Growth Area to dispose of wastewater in the sewer system. On-site sewage treatment and disposal systems in the urban zone are allowed in very limited circumstances. On-site sewage treatment and disposal systems are allowed for short subdivisions if five criteria are met; see KCC 13.24.136. One of the criteria is that the UTRC determines that sewer service is not available in a timely and reasonable manner. Use this form to initiate a sewer service review by the UTRC.

  

Water

Under the Public Water System Coordination Act of 1977 King County established four Coordination Water System Plans (CWSP(s)) to manage future development of public water supply. The County's priority and policy framework is for development within a water utility retail service area to obtain water service from the utility. An appeals process was developed to resolve issues related to the implementation of the CWSP(s).  Issues subject to resolution include: interpretation and application of water utility service area boundaries; proposed schedule for providing service; conditions of service, excluding published rates and fees; annexation provisions imposed as a condition of service; and established minimum design standards. You must reside within the CWSP service area in order to file a timely and reasonable water service appeal. Within established city limits (incorporated areas) the CWSP utility service area review process does not apply for water service from the city. For appeals under the Coordinated Water System Plans for timely and reasonable water service use this form.

 

Filing

 

The filing of a completed form and a $250 fee will initiate the UTRC review. Generally, the UTRC will issue written findings, conclusions and a decision within 30 days of the close of the written record.

Water Appeal Process

King County’s four Coordination Water System Plans (CWSP(s)) are used to manage future development of public water supply. The County's priority and policy framework is for development within a water utility retail service area to obtain water service from the utility. The most common appeal involves timely and reasonable water service and the form focuses on that type of appeal. The form can be used for any appeal under the Public Water System Coordination Act of 1977.

Prior to filing an appeal with the County use the utility's dispute resolution process outlined in their water system plan. If the project proponent is still not satisfied, they can request the King County Utilities Technical Review Committee (UTRC) to conduct a timely and reasonable quasi-judicial administrative review. Other options may include an appeal to the Washington State Department of Health or Superior Court.

An appeal to the UTRC is initiated by filing a Notice and Statement of Appeal along with the appeal fee. The utility that issued the Certificate of Water Availability (CWA) that is the subject of the appeal will generally file a Response to Notice and Statement of Appeal. The record will also include the County's policies and code for water supply.

Next steps

The CWSP specific Regional Water Association (RWA) is provided an opportunity by the UTRC for fact finding and facilitation of a resolution. A RWA was established during the development of each CWSP and has an ongoing function of CWSP implementation. If there is no resolution of the appeal, the RWA makes a recommendation to the King County UTRC as to whether or not the offer of service as documented on the CWA is timely and/or reasonable. The RWA is provided a 45 day time period within which to take action.

If the RWA is unsuccessful in resolving the appeal, the UTRC will establish a calendar schedule for the filing of arguments or positions, consider the written record, and issue a Record of Decision on the appeal. It is anticipated the written record will include the information and evidence contained in the Notice and Statement of Appeal to support the appellant's position, information from the utility that issued the CWA in the Response to the Notice and Statement of Appeal, the legal and policy framework of the County for water supply, and the recommendation of the RWA. The UTRC standard for review of the information is a preponderance of the evidence. The UTRC will issue a Recommendation and Record of Decision on the appeal within 30 days from when the written record is complete. The decision of the UTRC is final unless appealed to the King County Hearing Examiner.

Documents related to the filing of a Notice and Statement of Appeal

Wastewater Appeal Process

The King County Code 13.24.136.B requires all new development within the urban Growth area to dispose of wastewater in the sewer system. On-site sewage treatment and disposal systems in urban zoning are allowed in very limited circumstances. On-site sewage treatment and disposal systems shall be permitted in the Urban Growth Area only for single-family residences or for short subdivisions only on an interim basis. The decision to approve an on-site sewage system for a single-family residence in the urban area is made by the Director of the Department of Permitting and Environmental Review. For short subdivisions the UTRC must determine that sewer service is not available in a timely and reasonable manner for property located within the urban growth area.

 Next steps

 Use this form to initiate a sewer service review by the UTRC.

Following receipt of the completed form with attachments (if any) and a $250 fee, the UTRC will contact the wastewater service provider to obtain their perspective. The utility that issued the certificate of sewer availability that is the subject of the appeal will generally file a response to the appeal. The UTRC will establish a calendar schedule for the filing of arguments or positions, consider the written record, and issue a decision on the appeal. It is anticipated the written record will include the information and evidence contained in the Request to Determine if Sewer Service is Available in a Timely and Reasonable Manner information from the utility that issued the certificate of sewer availability and the legal and policy framework of the County for wastewater management. The UTRC standard for review of the information is a preponderance of the evidence. The UTRC will issue a Recommendation and Record of Decision on the appeal within 30 days from when the written record is complete. The decision of the UTRC is final unless appealed to the King County Hearing Examiner.

 

Documents related to the filing of a Notice and Statement of Appeal

 

 

For questions or more information about King County Utilities Technical Review Committee, please contact Steve Hirschey, UTRC Chair.