Commercial Sewer Conservation Loan Program

Commercial Grease Inceptor Installation
Pierce County Commercial Sewer Conservation
Loan Program

In response to requirements of state and federal laws, Pierce County adopted sewer pretreatment standards to prevent pollutants from entering the County’s wastewater system which could interfere with normal operation of the system. These pretreatment standards, depending upon type and intensity of the individual business, may have a significant financial impact.

Pierce County Council passed an ordinance (2014-69s) establishing a commercial sewer conservation program consistent with the County’s economic development goals of supporting the local business community and enhancing the operating environment for commercial businesses. This loan program will help to minimize the financial impacts for new or relocating businesses connecting to the sewer system. In addition, the ordinance allows the Sewer Division to facilitate the installation of materials and equipment for the conservation and more efficient use of the County’s sewer system.

Project Eligibility:

  • The project must be located within the Pierce County Sewer Service Area.
  • Loans are available for existing or new commercial or industrial buildings.
  • The project must meet eligibility requirements.

Project Classifications Eligible for Loan Funding:

PCC Section 13.04.045 classifies the County’s commercial/industrial sewer customers into one of three User Categories: Significant and Minor Industrial Users, and Insignificant Industrial Users. Significant and Minor Industrial Users:
  • Significant and Minor Industrial Users are typically required to install pretreatment devices such as grease interceptors, oil/water separators, hair traps, and silver recovery units prior to connection to the public sewer system. Examples of significant and minor industrial users are retail stores and office buildings, medical, restaurants, auto garages, and personal care businesses.
  • Insignificant Industrial Users not classified as a significant or minor user may require less intensive pretreatment measures such as a grease interceptor. Grease interceptors are a standard pretreatment requirement of environmental, health, and safety codes.

Project Types Eligible for Loan Funding:

Per Council Ordinance 2014-69s, the Sewer Division may provide assistance in the form of loans for wastewater pretreatment improvements for the following Project Types:
  • All new tenants or owners taking over an existing business with or without changes to the tenant space or building;
  • All existing commercial tenants or commercial building owners adding a new use, new plumbing, or increasing employees in an existing business;
  • All existing businesses that are changing or expanding their production or manufacturing process;
  • All additions to existing or new commercial buildings on parcels that have an existing on-site sewer system (public or private) located within the parcel boundaries; and
  • All apartment/condominium complexes with laundry, recreational, or office facilities.
  • All cottage industry uses.

A business wishing to utilize this program must fall into one of the three listed user categories, and also be listed under the approved Project Types to be eligible to apply for funding.

Loan Process:

  • Identify the cost of the project with a contractor. Recommended two bids.
  • Complete and return the application form with other requested docs and the loan set-up fee.
  • An independent agency will conduct a credit review.
  • The Conservation Loan Committee reviews the application and makes a decision on the loan.
  • The Conservation Loan Committee notifies the applicant on approval, and prepares the loan documents.

Loan Terms:

The interest rate for the loan is the Bond Rate on the date the loan agreement is signed, with a minimum rate of 4%.
  • Loans may be made for up to 90% of the estimated project cost.
  • The minimum loan amount is $10,000 and the maximum is $50,000.
  • Loan repayments are made monthly and are not part of the regular utility bill.
  • Terms up to ten years
  • Loans must be secured by a sufficient security interest (lien) in the project property.
  • Applicant must apply for the loan before the project is completed.
Loan disbursement will not take place until the project is completed and signed off by
Sewer Division staff.

Loan Security and Fees:

The applicant will be responsible for all fees and expenses.
  • All fees must be paid in full when the loan is recorded.