Yakima Municipal Code (YMC) 7.56.050, 055 & 060 sets the connection fee for new connections to the drinking water system. This fee is charged to any new connection to the drinking water system to allocate an equitable share of the cost of the existing domestic water system , and a reasonable estimate of the actual cost of connection (including costs associated with expanding the domestic water system), to persons who connect lots or facilities to the domestic water system. Using the domestic water system for irrigation purposes imposes capacity-related costs on the domestic system in addition to those imposed by using the domestic water system solely for domestic purposes. The connection fee was first established in 1997. This fee is one of the several elements of fees and charges that keep the water utility sustainable through fair and equitable charges.

There are three types of connection charges:

· Domestic water connection charge – Recovers a proportionate share of the cost of general facilities—those that provide water treatment, transmission, storage, and pumping capacity. Applies to all new connections to the domestic water system.

· Distribution plant connection charge – Recovers a proportionate share of the cost of local facilities—distribution lines, hydrants, services, and meters—that have not been already paid for through local improvement districts (LIDs) or developer extensions.

· Base irrigation charge – Recovers a proportionate share of treatment, transmission, storage, and pumping capacity costs as they apply to customers who use domestic water for irrigation purposes.

Calculating the first two types of charges requires that water system capacity costs, net of contributed capital, be allocated between general facilities and local facilities. Calculating the base irrigation charge requires that the domestic water connection charge be converted from a “per ERU” basis to a “per square foot” basis. Any connection charge is the unit cost of the City’s investment in the fixed plant needed to serve its customers. The numerator is the applicable cost of the system’s fixed plant, minus contributed capital, plus accrued interest. The denominator is either the number of units served by that plant (demand) or able to be served by that plant (capacity). In this study we continue the City’s past practice of using capacity as the denominator rather than demand.

View Connection Fee Rates (pdf)