Yeah, we need to add a bathroom for the tasting room, that's going to be ~$15k.
Oh, and if we want to install a new 1.5" water meter and line for dedicated water to the brewery, the city will charge us $50k for the privilege of doing so. That's for permission to do it, to actually install it and run the line is more. I don't know how much more because we won't be doing that.
I'm assuming the 50K is for the city's system development charge? Doesn't make it any easier to swallow but it's more than simply granting permission.
Do you actually need more capacity or could you achieve the desired result by submetering?
$18,220 "Connection Charge"
$30,925.75 "CWA includes 3% admin fee"
The CWA is a "Regional Water Connection Charge":
Regional Water Connection Charge (CWA): There is established a regional water connection charge which is imposed upon all owners of real property seeking to connect said property and improvements to the City water system.
I don't know if that's for more than permission, but to me that's the effect.
As for what we need, we could use a 1.5" line for sure. But instead we're going to split off a smaller line after the meter, probably add a submeter (although we don't have to), and use a cold liquor tank for our on-demand supply. It will fill as we go and should keep up pretty well, but it will keep us from being affected by water usage in other areas of the building.
Yes, it is very expensive to increase capacity or add new connections to municpal water systems. It's also extremely expensive to operate and maintain the storage, treatment and distribution systems that provide most of us with safe, reliable and (in the pacific northwest notably high) quality drinking water. Not to mention fantastic brewing water. Every time someone requests permission to add or expand a connection's capacity, greater demands are placed on the existing system capacity and infrastructure.
I wouldn't hold my breath hoping to get a waiver on charges but I would recommend three things.
1. Invite a city water engineer to visit your site and talk about your plans. Again, while I doubt any fees would be waived I have seen instances where SDCs are phased in based on an average annual consumption agreement. As your production and consumption increases, you renew your agreement until the full SDC is met.
2. Consider adding a submeter that will capture your "production" water or more specifically, water that is not returned to the wastewater system. These days many wastewater treatment agencies will provide a credit for volumes that you are able to demonstrate do not return to their system. Most wastewater agencies will bill you for wastewater based on your winter average potable
water consumption. You might be able to save a lot of money by deducting your production water that goes out the door as opposed to down the drain.
3. I bet you've already thought about it but just in case, try to capture and reuse your cooling water. Single pass cooling is a tremendously inefficient use of potable water.