Drainage from most properties enters or impacts the City surface water system in some manner. Kirkland’s Surface Water Utility was formed in 1998, to ensure the proper maintenance and operation of all public and private surface water systems within the City. This includes both built systems such as detention tanks, pipes, and catch basins, and natural systems such as streams, lakes, and wetlands.
The Surface Water Utility protects the public interests by providing the following services:
- Ensures public and private stormwater systems are planned, developed, and maintained to prevent flooding, protect water quality, and preserve natural surface water systems to protect aquatic habitat;
- Investigates drainage and flooding problems; facilitates analysis, design, and implementation of solutions.
- Monitors existing water quality and provides leadership and focus for community efforts working toward improved surface water management;
- Identifies needs for capital improvement of the surface water systems including streams and habitat; and prioritizes, selects, and constructs those improvements;
- Ensures that construction and maintenance projects are planned and implemented to cause as little short term and long term harm as possible to the environment.
Surface Water Utility Rates and Billing
The Surface Water Utility is financed with revenue generated by a surface water management fee charged to property owners. This fee appears on the property tax statements of developed parcels within the City of Kirkland. Residential properties are charged a flat rate per year and commercial properties are assessed a charge based on the actual amount of impervious surface area they contain (buildings, parking lots, etc.). The following are the fees and fee structure for 2012:
Flat rate of $15.60 per month plus utility tax of 7.5% ($201.24 per year)
This rate was set based on aerial photo surveys which showed that the average amount of impervious surface on a single-family property in Kirkland is 2600 square feet.
Commercial and Multi-Family Properties:
$15.60 per month per “Equivalent Service Unit” (ESU). One ESU is equal to 2600 square feet of impervious surface.
Sample calculation: an apartment complex has 10,000 square feet of impervious surface (parking lots, rooftops, etc.), so the surface water fee would be:
10,000/2600 = 3.85 ESU
3.85 ESU X $15.60 per month per ESU = $60.06 per month plus utility tax of 7.5% ($774.77 per year)
A utility tax of 7.5% is added to the fee for both single-family and multi-family/commercial properties.
Discounts are available for qualified low-income senior citizens, and undeveloped properties are not charged a surface water fee. Please contact the Kirkland Public Works Department at (425) 587-3800 or email@example.com for details.
Discounts are also available for new or remodeled commercial buildings that install a qualified rainwater harvesting system. Please see Policy L-3 for details on this credit.
For questions about your surface water utility fee, please contact the Public Works Department at (425) 587-3800 or firstname.lastname@example.org.