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Water SDCs: Ensuring New Growth Pays Equible Share to Fund Water System Expansions

Post Date:01/28/2019

Growth in our community creates additional demands on our water system. The City of Hillsboro Water Department collects Water System Development Charges (SDCs) to ensure new growth pays their equable share to fund water system expansions.

Water SDC fees are a one-time charge for either new water meter connections, or increased usage for meters three inches or larger. SDC fees are not charged for new customers activating service at an existing meter where the SDC fee was previously assessed.

Revenue from Water SDC fees is used only to fund capital projects that:

  • Expand Hillsboro’s current drinking water system to serve new customers
  • Constructs new water infrastructure to meet future demand needs
  • Reimburse the City for already-built water systems facilities

Water SDC fees are set by the City of Hillsboro Utilities Commission and updated on a regular basis, through a process similar to the update process used for water rates, and following the requirements of Oregon law.


By charging Water SDC fees for new or larger connections to the system, the Hillsboro Water Department assigns the costs of new capital improvements, at least in part, to those who may potentially cause an increase in demand rather than to existing customers through higher user charge rates.

SDC fees help to keep water rates lower. For example, SDC fees are paying for about 60 percent of the new Willamette Water Supply System treatment plant and pipelines. The remaining 40 percent balance is funded by current customers through water rate revenue.

Proposed 2019 Water SDC Increase

The City is proposing an increase in Water SDC fees to ensure new connections to the water system pay their equitable share to fund water system expansions.

If the proposed 2019 SDC fees are adopted by the Utilities Commission, the new SDC fees would go into effect April 1, 2019.

2019 Proposed Water SDC Fees
Effective Date: April 1, 2019

Water Meter Size

City of Hillsboro Retail Customers

Upper System Retail Customers

City of Cornelius – Wholesale Customer*

City of Gaston & LA Water Co-Op – Wholesale Customer*

5/8 inch by 3/4 inch





1 inch





1-1/4 inch





1- 1/2 inch





2 inch





3 inch and larger

Water SDCs are based on estimated average day and maximum day demands expressed in 5/8 inch by 3/4 inch water meter equivalents

Current SDC
5/8 inch by 3/4 inch






If the proposed 2019 SDC fees are adopted, the following protocols will be applied:

  • Building permit applications submitted by March 31, 2019, would be subject to the current 2018 fees, provided charges are paid and the building permit is picked up by September 30, 2019. For permits picked up and paid after September 30, the SDC fees would be recalculated at increased 2019 Water SDC rates.
  • Building permit applications submitted after April 1, 2019, would be subject to the 2019 SDC fees.

Offer Your Input

The City of Hillsboro Utilities Commission will vote on the proposed 2019 SDC fees at 1:30 pm on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, in the Hillsboro Civic Center Room 207 on 150 East Main Street. The public is invited to attend the meeting to provide input.

If unable to attend, input can be provided or questions can asked in several ways:

In the near future, updated information will be posted on the Water SDC dedicated webpage.

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