• Jake Kirkwood

DC Water's System Availability Fee and What It Means To You

The System Availability Fee (SAF) is a one-time fee assessed on new development projects in the District that require a new water and sanitary sewer connection. This also applies to renovation/redevelopment projects that require an increase in the size of the existing connections.


The SAF allows DC Water to recover infrastructure costs that are associated with the ever-increasing demand on water and sewer availability in the District. With the redevelopment industry booming, it has become increasingly difficult for DC Water to manage the demand that new homes, apartment buildings, and condominium conversions are placing on the water supply in the city.


DC Water first published their SAF regulations on June 17, 2016; however, the regulations did not go into effect until January 1, 2018.

In the chart below, you can find the fee schedule for both residential customers and multi-family / non-residential customers:


Residential Customers:

Multi-Family / Non-Residential Customers:


Frequently Asked Questions:


1. How is the SAF meter size determined?


As your Civil Engineer, we will compute your SAF meter size based on the peak water demand, excluding fire demand, in accordance with D.C. Construction Codes Supplement, as amended, Chapter 3 (Water Meters) of this title, and DC Water's Meter Sizing Instructions and Worksheets.


2. Which projects require the SAF?


If your project, whether it be new construction, renovation, or redevelopment, requires a new or increased meter size, an SAF payment will be required.


3. What if my property already has an existing DC Water account? Do I still need to pay the SAF?

The SAF is assessed whenever the existing water meter size is increased. The existing meter size will act as a credit, and the SAF will be based on the following calculation:


Net SAF = SAF - SAF Credit


For example, if your property has an existing 3/4" water connection and the proposed work will require an increase to a 1" water connection, the SAF is calculated as:


$ 3,944 - $ 3,944 = $ 0 (No SAF required)


If the new meter is sized as 1.5", the SAF is calculated as:


$ 19,082 - $ 3,944 = $ 15,138


For more FAQ's about the DC Water System Availability Fee, you can follow this link, give us a call at (202) 386-7375 or send us an email to info@demarr-engr.com.


Many of you may be well aware of the SAF and it's implications on your projects, but for those of you new to working in the nation's capital, we hope this information has been useful moving forward.


This article is brought to you by DEMARR Engineering, PLLC, a Washington, DC Civil Engineering Firm. For a list of Civil Engineering and Land Surveying services we provide in Washington DC, visit https://www.demarrengineering-dc.com/services-dc or email us at info@demarr-engr.com for more information.


© 2020 by DEMARR Engineering, PLLC. 

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