Tap, Impact & Change-in-Use Fees

Below are Charleston Water System's tap and impact fees, which apply to new connections to our water and sewer systems. 

Notice of Impact Fee Increases
On December 16, 2015, Charleston Water System's Board of Commissioners approved a three-phased incremental increase to water and sewer impact fees, with the first increase taking effect July 1, 2016, the second on July 1, 2017, and the third on July 1, 2018. See fee tables below for details. Tap fees are not affected by this increase.

Impact Fees

Impact fees help fund expansion of water and sewer infrastructure to accommodate growth. Water impact fees are based on the tap size. Sewer impact fees are calculated using Equivalent Residential Units (ERUs) for residential customers and Unit Contributory Loadings (UCLs) for commercial properties. See changes to UCL guidelines effective January 1, 2016.  Charleston Water System does not charge impact fees for dedicated fire service lines.

Sewer Change-in-Use Fee

Businesses opening a new sewer account at an existing location may be subject to a one-time, non-refundable change-in-use fee to fund infrastructure costs associated with higher wastewater flows generated by the change in use of an existing facility or construction of a new facility. 

Tap Fees

Water tap fees cover the cost of installing a water meter and are based on meter size. The sewer tap fee is charged to cover the cost of inspecting sewer connections made by contractors. Dedicated fire service lines are not charged a tap fee.

Affordable Housing Rate

Reduced impact fees for affordable housing are available to qualified applicants. The affordable housing rate waives the $500 engineering services charge included in the water and sewer impact fee structure, allowing a total savings of $1,000 for water and sewer impact fees. To find out more about the affordable housing impact fee rate, please contact the Lowcountry Housing Trust for qualification criteria.

Water Tap & Impact Fee Schedule*

Tap Size 
Tap Fee 
Impact Fee

Impact Fee
Impact Fee
3/4 Inch 
$3,098  $3,401 
1 Inch 
$4,858  $5,335 
1 1/2 Inch 
$9,130  $10,170 
2 Inch 
$14,349  $15,972 
3 Inch 
$26,483  $29,510 
4 Inch 
$43,764  $48,850 
6 Inch 
$55,570  $61,980 
8 Inch 
$86,780  $96,800 
10 Inch 
$103,310  $115,260 
12 Inch 
$126,190  $140,800 



Tap & Impact Fee Schedule*

Sewer impact fees are calculated per Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU).

Tap Size 
Tap Fee 
Impact Fee (per ERU) 
Impact Fee
Effective 7/1/2017
Impact Fee
Effective 7/1/2018 
6 inches or smaller 
 $3,217  $3,525  $3,870
8 Inches 
 $3,217  $3,525  $3,870

Sewer Change-In-Use Fee*


Tap Size 
Current Fee  Fee
 $2,717  $3,025  $3,370

  1. Dedicated fire service lines that supply fire sprinkler systems are not charged water tap and impact fees.
  2. The above fees do not include account origination fees, which are charged at the time an account is established.
  3. Engineering service fees are included in the impact fee totals.