Water Availability in Skagit County

Posted Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Recent closures by the State Department of Ecology of the Carpenter-Fisher subbasins to new well drilling and the potential closure of the Nookachamps Creek subbasin, has raised water availability concerns from impacted property owners.

Subbasins-Map.gifConsistent with its mission, Skagit PUD will "undertake to its fullest extent to furnish water to all inhabitants of Skagit County who are in need of a potable water supply." However, as a public utility, the costs for extending water to previously unserved parcels are typically borne by the benefited property owners.

Skagit PUD currently has existing water distribution lines that extend into portions of the Nookachamps Creek subbasin and the Carpenter-Fisher Creek area. Skagit PUD is willing to serve this region of the county, yet at this time there is a substantial distance gap between existing PUD water lines and many properties now needing piped water due to basin closures.

Properties in the Carpenter-Fisher and Nookachamps Creek subbasins wishing to pursue being served by Skagit PUD water have the following options:

1. Financing via a Local Utility District (LUD). An LUD allows private property owners to borrow money through Skagit PUD at a lower interest rate than they could otherwise get and to repay the loan over time through assessments against the property or properties. It allows property owners to typically spread the cost of connecting to water over 10-20 years.

Property owners within a defined area may petition Skagit PUD Commissioners to extend water mains to their properties, and/or provide other facilities, by formation of a Local Utility District (LUD). All construction, engineering, administrative costs, attorney and consultant fees, feasibility studies, title reports, costs of easements, permits, environmental reports, and shoreline permits and other related costs are a part of the LUD costs. If this method is used, benefited properties will be assessed as provided by law.

2. Line Extension Request. Extensions are additions to Skagit PUD’s water mains and/or related distribution facilities, for the purpose of providing water service at properties not previously served by a PUD-owned water main.

An applicant for a waterline extension will normally be responsible for financing the entire cost of the extension. Costs include new facilities, replacement of existing system components when necessary for making the extension or improvement, and upgrades to meet requirements such as fire flow, which are associated with the applicant's project.

To determine the exact location of existing water lines and whether a parcel could obtain water service, please contact Skagit PUD’s Engineering Department at (360) 424-7104 for details.