Green is Not Free

Monday, September 1, 2008

By DowntownDC

Get ready to loosen your purse strings. Come April 2009, the DC Water and Sewer Authority (WASA) is expected to impose an impervious surface area charge on all DC property owners. The new charge will be separate from the reduced sewer rate and will be reallocated to help pay for the $2.2 billion cost of building tunnels required by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to reduce sewer overflows into local waterways, including the Anacostia.

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The charge will be based on the square footage of a property’s impervious surface coverage—man-made surfaces that cannot be easily penetrated by water, such as rooftops, paved driveways, patios and parking lots—and not on water usage. WASA has proposed a monthly charge of $1.24 per 1,000 square feet. However, single-family residential customers will only be charged $1.24 a month in the first year, despite the total amount of impervious area, although residential unit assessments may be based on size in the future. All non-single family residential customers will be charged based on the total amount of impervious area; the charge will vary from year to year through 2025. For more information, call 202.354.3600, or email