Code of the District of Columbia

Subchapter III. Water Mains.


§ 34–2405.01. Water mains and service sewers erected at discretion of Mayor; costs assessed against abutting property.

The Mayor of the District of Columbia is authorized and directed, whenever in his judgment the same may be necessary for the public safety, health, comfort, or convenience, to construct water mains and service sewers in any street, avenue, road, or alley in the District of Columbia; and the Assessor of said District shall levy assessments for the same against abutting property in the amount and manner hereinafter prescribed.


(Apr. 22, 1904, 33 Stat. 244, ch. 1417, § 1.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-1512.

1973 Ed., § 43-1510.

Editor's Notes

Office of Assessor abolished: The Office of the Assessor was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. All functions of the Office of the Assessor including the functions of all officers, employees and subordinate agencies were transferred to the Department of General Administration by Reorganization Order No. 3 of the Board of Commissioners, dated August 28, 1952. Reorganization Order No. 20, dated November 10, 1952, abolished the Office of the Assessor and transferred the functions to the Finance Office in the Department of General Administration. The same Order provided that an Office of the Assessor would be created in the Finance Office. Reorganization Order No. 20 was superseded and replaced by Organization Order No. 121, dated December 12, 1957, provided that the Finance Office (consisting of the Office of the Finance Officers, Property Tax Division, Revenue Division, Treasury Division, Accounting Division, and Data Processing Division) shall continue under the direction and control of the Director of General Administration, and prescribed the functions thereof. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Organization Order No. 121 was revoked by Organization Order No. 3, dated December 13, 1967, Part IVC of which prescribed the functions of the Finance Office within a newly established Department of General Administration. Functions of the Finance Office as stated in Part IVC of Organization Order No. 3 were transferred to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. Functions pertaining to centralized accounting as set forth in Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96 were transferred to the Director of the Office of Budget and Financial Management by Organization Order No. 30, dated April 5, 1972. The Office of Budget and Financial Management was replaced by Organization Order 50, dated December 31, 1974, which Order established the Office of Budget and Management Systems. The Office of Budget and Management Systems was replaced by Mayor’s Order 79-5, dated January 2, 1979, which Order established the Office of Budget and Resource Development.

Appropriations authorized: Public Law 104-194, 110 Stat. 2362, the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1997, provided for construction projects an increase of $46,923,000 (including an increase of $34,000,000 for the highway trust fund, reallocations and rescissions for a net rescission of $120,496,000 from local funds appropriated under this heading in prior fiscal years and an additional $133,419,000 in Federal funds), as authorized by §§ 43-1512 through 43-1519; §§ 43-1524, 43-1527 and 43-1654; and §§ 9-219 and 47-3404 §§ 10-619, 34-2304, 34-2405.01 through 34-2405.08; §§ 34-2413.08, 34-2408.10; and 47-3404, 2001 Ed.; including acquisition of sites, preparation of plans and specifications, conducting preliminary surveys, erection of structures, including building improvement and alteration and treatment of grounds, to remain available until expended: Provided, That funds for use of each capital project implementing agency shall be managed and controlled in accordance with all procedures and limitations established under the Financial Management System: Provided further, That all funds provided by this appropriation title shall be available only for the specific projects and purposes intended: Provided further, That notwithstanding the foregoing, all authorizations for capital outlay projects, except those projects covered by the first sentence of section 23(a) of the Federal-Aid Highway Act of 1968, approved August 23, 1968 (82 Stat. 827; Public Law 90-495; D.C. Code, sec. 9-107.01, note), for which funds are provided by this appropriation title, shall expire on September 30, 1998, except authorizations for projects as to which funds have been obligated in whole or in part prior to September 30, 1998: Provided further, That upon expiration of any such project authorization the funds provided herein for the project shall lapse.

Public Law 104-194, 1110 Stat. 2362, the District of Columbia Appropriations Act, 1997, provided for the Water and Sewer Enterprise Fund, $221,362,000 from other funds of which $41,833,000 shall be apportioned and payable to the debt service fund for repayment of loans and interest incurred for capital improvement projects.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 34–2405.02. Assessments for water mains.

For laying or constructing water mains in the District of Columbia assessments shall be levied at the rate of $3 per linear front foot against all lots or land abutting upon that part of the street, avenue, road, or alley in which a water main shall be laid, and that for laying or constructing service sewers in the District of Columbia assessments shall be levied at the rate of $4 per linear front foot against all lots or land abutting upon that part of the street, avenue, road, or alley in which a sewer shall be laid; provided, that assessments for water mains and service sewers in the case of lots or parcels of land not more than 100 feet in depth shall be levied upon the fronts or rears of such lots or parcels of land, and not upon both the fronts and rears of such lots or parcels of land; but lots or parcels of land more than 100 feet in depth, except corner lots, shall be assessed upon both their fronts and rears when water mains or service sewers are laid abutting the same; provided, that corner lots shall be assessed for water mains and service sewers only on their short fronts with a depth of not exceeding 100 feet; any excess of the other front over 100 feet shall be subject to assessment, as hereinbefore provided; provided, that the areas of all lots or parcels of land which have been assessed for water mains by the square foot under any previous act of Congress, or of the late legislative assembly of the District of Columbia, shall not be again assessed for water mains; provided further, that when the Mayor of the District of Columbia shall deem it advantageous to lay water mains or service sewers on each side of any street, avenue, road, or alley assessments shall be levied at the rate, within the time and in the manner in this section provided for, against the lots abutting the side of the street, avenue, road, or alley in which the water main or service sewer is laid.


(Aug. 11, 1894, 28 Stat. 275, ch. 253; Apr. 22, 1904, 33 Stat. 244, ch. 1417,§ 2; Dec. 22, 1927, 45 Stat. 11, ch. 5; July 3, 1930, 46 Stat. 989, ch. 848,§ 1; June 4, 1934, 48 Stat. 876, ch. 389, § 1; July 16, 1947, 61 Stat. 360, ch. 258; May 18, 1954, 68 Stat. 109, ch. 218, title III, §§ 301, 302.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-1513.

1973 Ed., § 43-1511.

Change in Government

This section originated at a time when local government powers were delegated to a Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia (see Acts Relating to the Establishment of the District of Columbia and its Various Forms of Governmental Organization in Volume 1). Section 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967 (see Reorganization Plans in Volume 1) transferred all of the functions of the Board of Commissioners under this section to a single Commissioner. The District of Columbia Self-Government and Governmental Reorganization Act, 87 Stat. 818, § 711 ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.11), abolished the District of Columbia Council and the Office of Commissioner of the District of Columbia. These branches of government were replaced by the Council of the District of Columbia and the Office of Mayor of the District of Columbia, respectively. Accordingly, and also pursuant to § 714(a) of such Act ( D.C. Code, § 1-207.14(a)), appropriate changes in terminology were made in this section.


§ 34–2405.03. Notice of assessments.

The Assessor of the District of Columbia shall give notices as herein provided of the levying of assessments for water mains and service sewers. Assessments shall be levied within 60 days after the completion of the main or service sewer, and the owner or owners affected by such assessments shall be notified that the same have been levied by a notice which shall be served upon the owner of the lot or parcel of land if he or she be a resident of the District of Columbia, and his or her residence be known. If the owner be a nonresident or his or her residence be unknown, the notice shall be served on his or her agent or tenant. The service of such notice, where the owner or his or her agent or tenant resides in the District of Columbia, shall be personal or by leaving the same with some person of suitable age, either a member of his family or in his employ, at the residence or place of business of such owner, agent, or tenant; and return of such service, stating the manner thereof, shall be made in writing under oath and filed in the office of the Assessor of the District of Columbia. If there be no agent or tenant known to said Assessor, and the owner or owners be not residents of the District of Columbia, or if the owner be a resident of the District of Columbia and cannot be found therein, and no person of suitable age as aforesaid can be found at his or her residence or place of business, notice shall be given by advertisement once a week for 3 successive weeks in some daily newspaper published in said District, and in said publication of said notice each several piece of property shall be described in a separate paragraph, and the cost of such advertisement shall be added to the amount of said assessment and collected in the same manner that said assessment is collected.


(Apr. 22, 1904, 33 Stat. 245, ch. 1417, § 3.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-1514.

1973 Ed., § 43-1512.

Editor's Notes

Office of Assessor abolished: The Office of the Assessor was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. All functions of the Office of the Assessor including the functions of all officers, employees and subordinate agencies were transferred to the Department of General Administration by Reorganization Order No. 3 of the Board of Commissioners, dated August 28, 1952. Reorganization Order No. 20, dated November 10, 1952, abolished the Office of the Assessor and transferred the functions to the Finance Office in the Department of General Administration. The same order provided that an Office of the Assessor would be created in the Finance Office. Reorganization Order No. 20 was superseded and replaced by Organization Order No. 121, dated December 12, 1957, provided that the Finance Office (consisting of the Office of the Finance Officers, Property Tax Division, Revenue Division, Treasury Division, Accounting Division, and Data Processing Division) shall continue under the direction and control of the Director of General Administration, and prescribed the functions thereof. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Organization Order No. 121 was revoked by Organization Order No. 3, dated December 13, 1967, Part IVC of which prescribed the functions of the Finance Office within a newly established Department of General Administration. Functions of the Finance Office as stated in Part IVC of Organization Order No. 3 were transferred to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. Functions pertaining to centralized accounting as set forth in Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96 were transferred to the Director of the Office of Budget and Financial Management by Organization Order No. 30, dated April 5, 1972. The Office of Budget and Financial Management was replaced by Organization Order 50, dated December 31, 1974, which Order established the Office of Budget and Management Systems. The Office of Budget and Management Systems was replaced by Mayor’s Order 79-5, dated January 2, 1979, which Order established the Office of Budget and Resource Development.


§ 34–2405.04. Water main and service sewer assessments payable in three installments.

Assessments for water mains and service sewers shall be payable in 3 equal installments, the 1st of which shall be due and payable without interest within 30 days from date of service of notice or of the last publication of notice as the case may be, the second within 1 year, and the third within 2 years from the date of assessment, and interest at the rate of 6% per annum shall be charged on all amounts which shall remain unpaid at the expiration of 30 days from the date of service of notice or last publication as the case may be; but the owner of the property assessed may, at his option, at any time after the levying of such assessment, pay the same in full; provided, that if any installment of any assessment for water main or service sewer levied under the provisions of this subchapter shall not be paid when due and payable the property against which said assessment was levied may be sold for said delinquent installment at the next ensuing annual tax sale in the same manner and under the same conditions as property sold for delinquent general taxes, if said installment shall not have been paid prior to said sale.


(Apr. 22, 1904, 33 Stat. 245, ch. 1417, § 4.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-1515.

1973 Ed., § 43-1513.


§ 34–2405.05. Assessment of property in County of Washington for water mains and service sewers.

Property in the County of Washington, not subdivided into blocks or lots, or both, shall not be assessed for water mains or service sewers until subdivided; provided, that where houses are built on any unsubdivided land and connection is made with a water main or service sewer, assessment shall be made as herein provided for in the case of subdivided property by assessing a frontage of 50 feet on each side of said connection with a depth of 100 feet, except that no double assessment shall be levied; said assessment to be levied within 60 days after said connection is made; and if such unsubdivided land is thereafter subdivided into blocks or lots, such lots shall be assessed as herein provided as to subdivided lands, but the 50 feet on each side of said connection, with a depth of 100 feet, shall not be again assessed; provided further, that assessments at the rate and in the manner herein provided for shall be levied against each lot or parcel of land abutting any water main or service sewer in all subdivisions of land, within 60 days after the recording of such subdivision in the office of the Surveyor of the District of Columbia, except in cases where said lots or parcels of land have been previously assessed for the same main or service sewer.


(Apr. 22, 1904, 33 Stat. 246, ch. 1417, § 5.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-1516.

1973 Ed., § 43-1514.


§ 34–2405.06. Relevying assessments when assessments declared void.

The Assessor of the District of Columbia is hereby authorized and directed in cases where water-main assessments, or assessments for service sewers, may be quashed, canceled, set aside, or declared void by the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, or may otherwise be canceled or set aside, by reason of an imperfect or erroneous description of the lot or parcel of ground against which the same shall have been levied, by reason of such tax or assessment not having been authenticated by the proper officer or by reason of a defective return of service of notice, or for any technical reason other than the right of the authorities of the District of Columbia to levy assessment or lay the main or service sewer in respect of which assessment was levied, to relevy such assessment at the rate and in the manner provided for in this subchapter; provided, that such reassessment shall be made within 60 days from date of such cancellation.


(Apr. 22, 1904, 33 Stat. 246, ch. 1417, § 7; June 25, 1936, 49 Stat. 1921, ch. 804; June 25, 1948, 62 Stat. 991, ch. 646, § 32(b); May 24, 1949, 63 Stat. 107, ch. 139, § 127; July 29, 1970, 84 Stat. 588, Pub. L. 91-358, title I,§ 168(b).)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-1517.

1973 Ed., § 43-1515.

Editor's Notes

Office of Assessor abolished: The Office of the Assessor was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. All functions of the Office of the Assessor including the functions of all officers, employees and subordinate agencies were transferred to the Department of General Administration by Reorganization Order No. 3 of the Board of Commissioners, dated August 28, 1952. Reorganization Order No. 20, dated November 10, 1952, abolished the Office of the Assessor and transferred the functions to the Finance Office in the Department of General Administration. The same order provided that an Office of the Assessor would be created in the Finance Office. Reorganization Order No. 20 was superseded and replaced by Organization Order No. 121, dated December 12, 1957, provided that the Finance Office (consisting of the Office of the Finance Officers, Property Tax Division, Revenue Division, Treasury Division, Accounting Division, and Data Processing Division) shall continue under the direction and control of the Director of General Administration, and prescribed the functions thereof. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Organization Order No. 121 was revoked by Organization Order No. 3, dated December 13, 1967, Part IVC of which prescribed the functions of the Finance Office within a newly established Department of General Administration. Functions of the Finance Office as stated in Part IVC of Organization Order No. 3 were transferred to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969. Functions pertaining to centralized accounting as set forth in Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96 were transferred to the Director of the Office of Budget and Financial Management by Organization Order No. 30, dated April 5, 1972. The Office of Budget and Financial Management was replaced by Organization Order No. 50, dated December 31, 1974, which Order established the Office of Budget and Management Systems. The Office of Budget and Management Systems was replaced by Mayor’s Order 79-5, dated January 2, 1979, which Order established the Office of Budget and Resource Development.


§ 34–2405.07. Disposal of funds received by Collector of Taxes.

All sums received by the Collector of Taxes under the provisions of this subchapter on account of assessments levied for the construction of service sewers shall be credited to the appropriation under which the sewer was constructed for the fiscal year in which such sums shall be received.


(Apr. 22, 1904, 33 Stat. 246, ch. 1417, § 8.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-1518.

1973 Ed., § 43-1516.

Editor's Notes

Office of Collector of Taxes abolished: The Office of the Collector of Taxes was abolished and the functions thereof transferred to the Board of Commissioners of the District of Columbia by Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. All functions of the Office of the Collector of Taxes including the functions of all officers, employees and subordinate agencies were transferred to the Director, Department of General Administration by Reorganization Order No. 3, dated August 28, 1952. Reorganization Order No. 20, dated November 10, 1952, transferred the functions of the Collector of Taxes to the Finance Office. The same Order provided for the Office of the Collector of Taxes headed by a Collector in the Finance Office, and abolished the previously existing Office of the Collector of Taxes. Reorganization Order No. 20 was superseded and replaced by Organization Order No. 121, dated December 12, 1957, which provided that the Finance Office (consisting of the Office of the Finance Officer, Property Tax Division, Revenue Division, Treasury Division, Accounting Division, and Data Processing Division) would continue under the direction and control of the Director of General Administration, and that the Treasury Division would perform the function of collecting revenues of the District of Columbia and depositing the same with the Treasurer of the United States. Organization Order No. 121 was revoked by Organization Order No. 3, dated December 13, 1967, Part IVC of which prescribed the functions of the Finance Office within a newly established Department of General Administration. The executive functions of the Board of Commissioners were transferred to the Commissioner of the District of Columbia by § 401 of Reorganization Plan No. 3 of 1967. Functions of the Finance Office as stated in Part IVC of Organization Order No. 3 were transferred to the Director of the Department of Finance and Revenue by Commissioner’s Order No. 69-96, dated March 7, 1969.


§ 34–2405.08. “Service sewer” defined.

A service sewer within the meaning of the provisions of this subchapter shall be a sewer with which connection may be directly made for the purpose of providing sewerage facilities to abutting property, and such sewers shall be so indicated on the records of the Sewer Division of the Engineer Department of the District of Columbia.


(Apr. 22, 1904, 33 Stat. 246, ch. 1417, § 9.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 43-1519.

1973 Ed., § 43-1517.

Transfer of Functions

Reorganization Order No. 28 of the Board of Commissioners, dated April 3, 1953, now redesignated Organization Order No. 147, dated August 19, 1965, established a Department of Sanitary Engineering headed by a Director. The Department performed sanitary engineering services and operations for the District including water distribution, sanitary, storm, and combined sewer systems, sewage treatment, and collection and disposal of waste material. The Office of the Water Registrar and the previously existing Department of Sanitary Engineering (which included the Sewer Division, Water Division, Sanitation Division, and the Sewage Treatment Plant) were abolished and their functions transferred to this Department. The Orders were issued pursuant to Reorganization Plan No. 5 of 1952. Functions of the Department of Sanitary Engineering as set forth in Organization Order No. 147, as amended, were transferred to the Department of Environmental Services by Commissioner’s Order No. 71-255, dated July 27, 1971.