Third-Tier Water Rate Appeal Process

Water crew performing maintenance
Water crews maintain 1,800 miles of pipelines, 18,000 fire hydrants, and many other water facilities in Seattle and King County.

How to appeal a third-tier water rate charge

Circumstances eligible for appeal:

  • One or more household members who require water-intensive medical treatments or convalescent care
  • More than one single-family residence served by a single water meter
  • Boarding house or multi-family living arrangements
  • Hardship circumstances that merit special consideration

Note: For any of these circumstances, you may be eligible for exemption from third-tier water rates or a recalculation of your third-tier consumption threshold.


Child drinking a glass of water
About 1.3 million people in King County depend on Seattle to provide their drinking water.

Appeal process

  • First, a customer must receive a bill containing third-tier water charges that they wish to appeal.
  • Submit a written request explaining why the charges are being appealed, and how the request fits within the circumstances listed above as eligible for appeal.
  • Enclose a copy of the bill showing the third-tier charges being appealed, or be sure to provide complete identifying information including name, address, account number, bill date and amount of third-tier charges being appealed. Please include a daytime phone number.
  • Bill payment should be made in the usual way and not sent with the appeal. Be sure to pay all charges on the bill other than third-tier water charges.
  • The appeal information should be sent by one of the following methods:

    Seattle Public Utilities
    Attn: Utility Hearing Officer
    700 Fifth Avenue, Suite 2777
    PO Box 34027
    Seattle, WA 98124-4027
    Fax: (206) 684-3811

Customers can expect a response within 30 days. Pending a response, unpaid third-tier charges are not subject to credit action or late payment charges.


Related links

Reduce Water Use
Saving Water Partnership