System Development Fees

South Camden Water & Sewer District

The South Camden Water & Sewer District presents for public view and comment the findings of the System Development Fees study. A copy of the full report is available by clicking here.

Please see below for directions on how to comment.


Funding Future Water System Expansions

System Development Fees Explained1


What Are System Development Fees?

System Development Fees are charges imposed by a water utility upon new development to tie onto the water system and use existing water supply capacity that has already been paid for by the existing customer base. System Development Fees easily and fairly distribute the burden of providing additional potable water capacity from the water utility and its existing customers to new customers as a result of new development. The fees are collected from new industries, new commercial businesses, new residential construction, and new water taps, and they allow the new customer to “buy-in” to the remaining water capacity that South Camden Water & Sewer District has available. The System Development Fees will also help fund large-scale water system capital improvement projects such as water treatment plant expansions, upsizing water transmission mains, and water line extensions that will be necessary to keep pace with future economic development and residential growth in Camden County. South Camden Water & Sewer District has been charging System Development Fees through our connection fee charges.  Law has since changed requiring a distinct fee calculated using one of three methods. The System Development Fee report explains those methods in further detail.


Who Do System Development Fees Impact?

System Development Fees impact new development and new connections. For the purposes of this fee, a “development” can be a new home, apartment complex, business, industry, or other establishment which connects to the public water system. The fee itself is normally paid by the developer before the resident or business moves into the building. In some cases, established residents and businesses who were previously on private wells may be impacted, as the fee is assessed to any new connection to our system.

System Development Fees are not charged to current customers with existing connections to the system; however, current customers will be assessed the System Development Fee for new or additional water taps.


What Do System Development Fees Do?

System Development Fees are a source of capital financing used to help water systems recover the investment in capacity allocated to new customers. System Development Fees paid to the water system are earmarked specifically to offset the capacity related costs, which include expanding the water filtration plant, installing new mains, or adding booster pump stations and new water tanks to serve growth.

The System Development Fees can be used to pay construction costs or to help pay back notes, loans, and bonds that are used to fund large water system projects to increase capacity. The implementation of the fees will not eliminate normal, periodic water rate increases to account for inflation, materials cost increases, increased operations and maintenance expenses, and ongoing repair and replacement of aging infrastructure.


How are System Development Fees Calculated?

South Camden Water & Sewer District recently contracted with Raftelis Financial Consultants (Raftelis) in Charlotte, North Carolina to perform a System Development Fee Study. The results of this study explained, in the simplest terms, how the fees are calculated and what Fee is considered fair.

RFC collected historical data from our finance and public works departments, including fixed asset data, outstanding debt, a complete list of water capacity infrastructure (water plant capacity, size and length of mains), and estimated daily water loss. Using the historical data to determine the value of system assets, Raftelis calculated a “Replacement Cost” of the infrastructure we currently have, which values the system in today’s dollars.

The provided System Development Fee analysis explains the calculation in further detail.


The Bottom Line

System Development Fees are not new. Water utilities and municipalities across the country have been charging System Development Fees for years to help pay for expansions to water and wastewater systems to serve new growth. It is the fairest way to pass on the cost of new growth to those who are developing new sites. History has proven that System Development Fees do not adversely impact growth.


How To Comment

South Camden Water & Sewer District will conduct a public hearing on June 4th 2018 to receive comments on the proposed System Development Fees.  Comments* can be mailed to Finance Office, South Camden Water & Sewer District at P.O. Box 190, Camden, NC; submitted by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.; public comments may also be made during the public hearing at the Camden County Courthouse at 7 p.m. on June 4th. The following identifying information must be included with your written or emailed comment(s):




4.Email Address

5.Customer Type: (Water and/or Sewer)


*Acknowledgement of Public Record

By submitting your comments, you acknowledge that your name and comment will be included as part of the public record for this project. However, identifying information (address, telephone number, and email address) will be redacted, and will not be used for any purpose other than to be contacted by South Camden Water & Sewer District staff to address comments and concerns.

  1. Portions of this explanation have been extracted from