Ronald Wastewater Assumption

City and Ronald Wastewater District unify services in 2017


When Shoreline residents incorporated the City in 1995 it was in large part to receive better, more efficient services for their tax dollars. One way for the City to provide more efficient services includes unifying some of the water and sewer utilities with City operations, creating one-stop shopping for City residents and businesses. Early City Councils realized that consolidating utility services in Shoreline would reduce inefficiencies associated with multiple governmental entities operating in the same jurisdiction. One of the utilities considered for consolidation was the Ronald Wastewater (sewer) District.

To further the goal of consolidating services, the City and District entered into an Interlocal Operating Agreement in 2002, signed and agreed to by both organizations, to unify sewer services with City operations. The Agreement outlines the unification process between the City and the District which is to occur in October 2017. Unlike the possible purchase of the Seattle Public Utilities’ (SPU) water system in Shoreline, the City will acquire the sewer utility through an assumption, which means all assets, reserve funds, employees, equipment and any District debt will be assumed by the City and the Ronald Wastewater District will cease to exist as a separate government entity. With a few exceptions the ratepayers of the Ronald Wastewater District are Shoreline taxpayers. 

Procedures for an orderly and predictable transition of the sewer utility from District to City ownership are outlined in the 2002 agreement. In order to facilitate a smooth consolidation, the City and District agreed to a 15-year timeframe for the transition. During that time, the District has and will continue to operate as a Special Purpose District in Shoreline under the guidance of a franchise agreement with the City. 

Benefits of Unification

Consolidating Ronald Wastewater sewer and SPU water services to operate under the umbrella of the City will allow these utilities and the City to:

  • achieve efficiencies through reduced overhead and streamlined operational costs;
  • provide better customer service through combined utility billing, coordinated information responses, and “one stop” customer service and permitting;
  • provide ratepayers with a more transparent process for rate-setting and decision-making by having a single group of Shoreline-elected officials accountable to Shoreline voters;
  • provide ratepayers with better access to information and channels of communication with a single website and unified customer service operations for both utilities and the City;
  • provide a more comprehensive and coordinated approach to reinvesting in Shoreline infrastructure, aiding in redevelopment of different parts of the City; and
  • provide more financial and human resources to the utility in the event of an emergency.

Learn more

Assumption Transition Committees
Ronald Wastewater District Lawsuit