City of Houston Adopts Water & Wastewater Impact Fees

Bradley PepperCodes, Land Development

Last month, the Houston City Council adopted new water and wastewater impact fees that will be effective on July 1, 2021. Impact fees are charged to developers before a newly developed property can connect to the city’s water and sewer systems.

The city is required by the State of Texas to follow specific procedures to implement and change impact fees, which includes updating the land use assumptions and the impact fee capital improvement plan used by the city to determine the appropriate impact fees for each service unit.

Cities are required to update these every 10 years. The new fees were originally slated to take effect on July 1, 2020, but were delayed one year by the governor’s office because of the pandemic.


A service unit is defined as an equivalent dwelling unit (EDU) and is based on the amount of water consumed and wastewater generated by a typical single-family residence.

The new fees effective July 1 will be:

  • $1,618.11 per service unit for water (currently $790.55)
  • $1,621.63 per service unit for wastewater (currently $1,199.11)

However, there are exemptions from paying the impact fees for the development of low or moderate cost single-family housing. To qualify for this exemption, the house must be a single-family residence less than 3,000 sq. ft., located within city limits with a purchase price less the latest median price single-family housing in the city as published by the Real Estate Center at Texas A&M University, which as of May 12, 2021 is $265,575.

About the Author

Bradley Pepper

Government Affairs Director Greater Houston Builders Association (GHBA)