Operating a regional wastewater utility requires more than a dedicated workforce and highly specialized equipment. It also takes money, especially when it comes to funding new facilities to make sure our system keeps pace with population growth.
Just like you might borrow money to invest in a new home, or remodel a kitchen, we borrow money to build new facilities, or to upgrade or expand our system, by issuing bonds.
And just like a mortgage, having a good credit rating means you can borrow at a lower interest rate so it costs less to pay back your loan. It also means you have the option to refinance a loan to get a better interest rate.
King County WTD recently took advantage of its excellent credit ratings and favorable market conditions to refinance $159 million in bonds we issued to cover costs on a number of clean-water projects that will protect the natural resources our region values.
In September, global financial firm Moody’s Investor’s Service upgraded our utility bond rating to Aa1 from Aa2, citing our prudent fiscal management and strong financial position. Standard & Poor’s affirmed our AA+ rating. These ratings are in the second highest rating for each firm.
Since 2014, King County WTD has refinanced almost $2 billion in outstanding debt that will save ratepayers more than $446 million over the next few decades.
The bonds are paid back by the money our customers invest each month in monthly sewer rates and charges. The return on that investment is clean water and a healthy environment – for today, and for the next generation of people who call this beautiful region “home.”
Additional information about us, our service mission and our finances is available online at kingcounty.gov/ratepayerreport.