Why Sizing of DC Water Meters Matters: An Insider's View
Holland & Knight Program
Washington, DC 20006
Holland & Knight attorneys Chip Glasgow, Amy Edwards, Janene Jackson and Rod Woodson are pleased that you were able to attend the March 15 event "System Availability Fees: What the DC Building Community Needs to Know."
Due to the popularity and feedback from the March Q&A, Callie Swingle from WC Smith Companies will give us further highlights regarding how DC Water's changes apply to your projects. Ms. Swingle will discuss how DC Water determines the size of a meter for project installs and how this can be affected by the "flow" rate of the supply lines in the area, along with the impact for meters in lower-flowing areas sometimes having to be larger to get the required total volume of water where it needs to be.
When meters were not a major cost factor, meter fees were not a big deal. Last year, DC Water imposed a monthly "System Replacement Fee" that is indexed to meter size. On top of that, DC Water is about to impose a new, one-time "System Availability Fee" that is also indexed to meter size, with fees ranging as high as $796,654 that are to be paid as early plans are reviewed and "approved" by DC Water – prior to the issuance of any building permit.
Ms. Swingle will have Excel worksheets for you to consider and keep for future reference. She will also discuss whether the range of meter models is 1) appropriate for an era when many fixtures use far less water per use than they did when the standards were adopted and 2) compliant to meet both the lower-volume needs for most domestic uses as compared with fire suppression.
The information provided may also help determine how you might collar existing or reduce the size of new or larger meters for possible savings under the System Availability Fee and reduce other meter size based fees that are paid each month.
About Ms. Swingle: Before she joined WC Smith Companies as a project manager, Ms. Swingle was a supervisor at the DC Water Permit Operations Department between 2009-2014 where she reviewed and approved permit applications for new water services. She hopes that by informing you of underlying details, you can better understand the existing and proposed fees and address any challenges the new domestic metering and System Availability Fees present.