City Council repeals fee charged to septic users


WALLA WALLA — Septic users in city limits who pay a failure-to-connect charge will soon get that fee taken off their monthly utility bill.

The City Council on Wednesday repealed the $35.20 per month fee the city charges property owners who have septic systems but are also located within 300 feet of a municipal sewer line.

City Manager Nabiel Shawa reported that the penalty was failing in its goal, which was to encourage those property owners to forgo their septic systems and switch to city sewer service.

“There is no evidence, even though this has been on the books for approximately approaching two decades as I understand, that anyone has actually disconnected or abandoned their septic system in order to connect to the sewer system. And we have no evidence that the policy is working,” Shawa said.

The repeal will cost the city’s sewer enterprise fund about $154,000 each year and affect 154 residences and 22 commercial properties.

The repeal will begin with the November billing.

Alfred Diaz can be reached at or 526-8325.



PearlY says...

This may be the first time in my life that I've heard of a government program that was discontinued because it wasn't accomplishing its stated goal, especially when it generated revenue. Granted two decades is a long time to figure out that it wasn't working, but far better late than never.

Posted 28 October 2013, 10:10 a.m. Suggest removal

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