Jenny Hagan, Charleston Water System
office 727-7146, cell 297-3514
Charleston Water System eliminates connection fees for dedicated fire service lines Commissioners hope new policy encourages more businesses to install fire sprinkler systems
(July 24, 2007)—Charleston Water System's Board of Commissioners today voted unamimously to eliminiate connection fees for dedicated fire service lines and to lower the monthly charge for such lines (see new rate schedule below).
The Commissioners began reviewing the water utility's policy of charging connection fees for fire lines following the tragic Sofa Super Store fire. The one-time connection fees included a "tap" fee to cover the cost of making the connection and installing a water meter and an "impact fee" for the cost of making water available for fire protection. The fees were based on the size of pipe installed.
Today's decision to eliminate these fees for dedicated fire service lines will take effect immediately. That means any business owner that installs a dedicated fire line will not be charged connection fees. Additionally, existing fire service accounts will see their monthly water bill decrease to the new monthly charge, which is between $7.75 and $141.67 depending on pipe size. The previous monthly charges were between $79.50 and $411.00.
Charleston Water System has a total of 104,000 water accounts. Approximately 600 of those accounts are dedicated fire service lines.
Dedicated fire service lines are water service lines that provide water for fire sprinkler systems. Water for domestic use in bathrooms, kitchens, etc., is provided through a separate pipe that is metered.