Sewer & Water Rate Structure

  • Every Sussex County sanitary sewer and water district is self-supporting.

  • User Charges

      • Annual Service Charge

        The service charges for each sanitary sewer or water district are established annually, based on the fiscal year budget as adopted by the Sussex County Council. Service charges recover the costs of operating and maintaining the collection system, transmission system, and treatment facilities. These include costs such as electric power, personnel, fuel, supplies, etc. Service charges may also include the debt service for the treatment facilities. They are billed quarterly.

        The amount of service charges billed to each user is based on the number of Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDUs) on the property. Each property is assessed for the number of EDUs based on Section 110-96 of the Sussex County Code. Vacant lots do not pay a service charge. There are no exemptions for service charges.

      • Annual Assessment Charge

        The assessment charge recovers the cost of constructing the sewer or water system based on the annual bond payments, as well as major maintenance and system upgrade expenses. It is broken-down into two parts: (1) collection or distribution, and (2) transmission and treatment. The collection or distribution portion recovers the cost of building the smaller pipelines. The transmission portion recovers the cost of building the transmission system (i.e., pumping stations, forcemains, and large diameter pipelines). In the Long Neck Sanitary Sewer District and the West Rehoboth Expansion of the Dewey Beach Sanitary Sewer District, it is billed quarterly with the service charge. In the County's other districts, it is billed annually on the Sussex County tax bill. This fee can also be used to pay for major repairs not covered under normal Operations and Maintenance. It can be used for system upgrades.

        The amount of assessment charges billed to each user is based on the number of assessable Front Feet associated with the property, as determined by Section 110-92 of the Sussex County Code. Normally, this is based on the street frontage of the property, although adjustments are made for corner lots, lots on more than one street or lots with multiple EDUs. All lots must pay front foot assessment charges unless they qualify for a property tax exemption (i.e., non-profit organization, farmland, etc.).

      • One-Time System Connection Charge

        A one-time system connection charge is paid before hookup for existing homes or before building permits are issued for new homes. It pays for past expenditures for debt service, and is a contribution toward the future expansion or replacement of transmission and treatment facilities.

    • Permit Fee

      The permit fee is paid when application is made for a sewer connection permit. It covers the cost of inspecting the sewer connection and initiating the billing records.