Pittsburgh, PA — As part of the new rate structure, effective January 12th, 2022, and our continuing transition to regulation by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission, the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority (PWSA) introduced changes to residential and commercial permitting fees to simplify and standardize water, sewer, and stormwater costs. The changes come after a comprehensive 2021 fee study that evaluated the labor and material costs associated with our permitting functions and best practices across the industry. The fee study was reviewed and approved by the Pennsylvania Public Utility Commission after a nine-month litigation process.
The 2022 fee changes include eliminating tapping fees (EDU fees), establishing new application fees, and reducing operation fees. Residential and commercial connections to PWSA water and sewer mains required the applicant to estimate the tapping fees through a complicated calculation. The estimation often resulted in an unexpectedly higher fee at the end of the application review process. The elimination of tapping fees aims to incentivize affordable housing and small business development by lowering the initial cost of water and sewer connections and achieving a more predictable outcome.
“Aligning our permitting fees with industry best practices through the elimination of tapping fees reduce many barriers for small businesses and those developing affordable housing in Pittsburgh,” said Chief Executive Officer Will Pickering. “These changes will help to support community-driven economic development and provide equitable opportunities for local business owners.”
All permits will have new fees based on the level of effort to review the application. The residential permit fee is $40, and the development permit fee for a typical new construction application is $780. Hydrant meter, hydrant flow tests, and waterline shut permit costs are lower. Waterline shut permits no longer require a Cashier's Check deposit. View a comprehensive list of changes on our new fee schedule at https://www.pgh2o.com/developers-contractors-vendors/permits.
Along with the fee changes, we have launched the second phase of our online permitting portal to include development permits and waterline shuts. The first phase, announced last fall, was the first step to transition to the CityGrows platform. CityGrows offers enhancements to the permitting process, including a 24/7 user dashboard, email notifications, a chat feature, and payment by credit card. To access the new permitting portal, please visit https://go.citygrows.com/pwsa.
Through these initiatives, we hope to improve the services provided to our customers, reduce permitting application review times, and continue to enhance our business relations with current and prospective developers. On February 23rd, we are hosting a 2022 Developer's Roundtable Event to discuss the Development Permits and upcoming Developer's Manual changes. More details are forthcoming.