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Mission Statement

The Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission (WSSC) is a bi-county governmental agency established in 1918 by an act of the Maryland General Assembly. It is charged with the responsibility of providing water and sanitary sewer service within the Washington Suburban Sanitary District, which includes most of Montgomery and Prince George's Counties. In Montgomery County, the Town of Poolesville and portions of the City of Rockville are outside of the District.



WSSC's proposed budget is not detailed in this document. The Commission's budget can be obtained from WSSC's Budget Group at the WSSC Headquarters Building, 14501 Sweitzer Lane, Laurel, Maryland 20707 (phone: 301.206.8110) or from their website at http://www.wsscwater.com.

Prior to January 15 of each year, the Commission prepares preliminary proposed capital and operating budgets for the next fiscal year. On or before February 15, the Commission conducts public hearings in both Counties. WSSC then prepares and submits the proposed capital and operating budgets to the County Executives of Montgomery and Prince George's Counties by March 1.

By March 15 of each year, the County Executives of Montgomery and Prince George's Counties are required by law to transmit the proposed budgets, recommendations on the proposed budgets, and the record of the public hearings held by WSSC to their respective County Councils.

Each County Council may hold public hearings on WSSC's proposed operating and capital budgets, but no earlier than 21 days after receipt from the County Executive. Each County Council may add to, delete from, increase, or decrease any item in either budget. Additionally, each Council is required by law to transmit by May 15 any proposed changes to the other County Council for review and concurrence. The failure of both Councils to concur on changes constitutes approval of the item as originally proposed by WSSC. Should the Councils fail to approve the budgets on or before June 1 of each year, WSSC's proposed budgets are adopted.

Accomplishments and Initiatives
  • Operating and maintaining a system of three reservoirs impounding 14 billion gallons of water, two water filtration plants, six wastewater treatment plants, 5,700 miles of water main, and 5,550 miles of sewer main 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
  • Treating or delivering 164 Million Gallons per Day (MGD) of water to over 451,000 customer accounts in a manner that meets or exceeds the Safe Drinking Water Act standards.
  • Replacing 45 miles of water main and 41 miles of sewer main and lateral lines.
  • Providing maintenance services at a level consistent with the objective of responding to the customer within two hours and restoring service within 24 hours.
  • Answering 100 percent of all customer billing calls received.
Spending Control Limits

The spending control limits process requires that the two counties set annual ceilings on WSSC's water and sewer rate increase and on debt (bonded indebtedness as well as debt service) and then adopt corresponding limits on the size of the capital and operating budgets. The two councils must not approve capital and operating budgets in excess of the approved spending control limits unless a majority of each council votes to approve them. If the two councils cannot agree on expenditures above the spending control limits, they must approve budgets within these limits.

The following table shows the FY19 spending control limits adopted by the Montgomery and Prince George's County Councils, compared to the spending control results projected under WSSC's Proposed FY19 Budget and under the County Executive's Recommended Budget for WSSC. The Commission's Proposed Budget complies with all of the spending control limits approved by the two County Councils.

County Executive Recommendations

Operating Budget

The County Executive recommends that WSSC's proposed FY19 budget be approved with a water and sewer rate increase of 4.5 percent in FY19 consistent with the Commission's resource needs outlined in their proposed budget.

Capital Budget

The County Executive recommended the WSSC FY19-24 Capital Improvements Program (CIP) budget be approved as submitted by the Commission.

The County Executive further recommends the changes to the FY19-24 CIP transmitted in the mid-cycle update by WSSC on February 21, 2018, including updates to the Blue Plains project costs and additional project cost reductions of $50 million to meet a revised water and sewer rate increase of 4.5 percent. FY19 fiscal projections for all funds and budgets are shown below.

Budget Trends
Program Contacts

Contact Letitia Carolina-Powell of the Washington Suburban Sanitary Commission at 301.206.8379 or Trevor Lobaugh of the Office of Management and Budget at 240.777.2763 for more information regarding this agency's operating budget.

Related Links
Additional Documentation