Stormwater needs to be managed or, due to increasing storm volumes, it can result in combined sewer overflows into our streams and basement flooding problems. Stormwater runoff volume and quality have been identified as the number one pollution source to rivers and streams. There are also increasing federal and state regulations that mandate the proper management of stormwater. All of these factors lead to increases in stormwater management costs.
As the City's stormwater management costs increase, it becomes more important to recover the costs of management on a basis that is the most fair and reasonable to all properties that benefit from our sewer systems. Over a decade ago, the Water Department convened a Citizens' Advisory Group (CAG) to make a recommendation to the City about more equitable stormwater charges. After a two year deliberation, the CAC came to a consensus and recommended that we move to a property based stormwater management charge. In the past, customers were charged based on the size of their water meter. While that method is appropriate in some cases, it is often not representative of true stormwater costs. The new method takes into account a property's effect on the system by charging the property for its gross and impervious areas.
Unless there are stormwater management controls, all properties generate stormwater. The new method allows us to charge properties that are currently not customers (i.e., parking lots, vacant lots and others without water or sewer service).
Do you have stormwater management controls on your site? Read about our credits program to find out how you can reduce your stormwater management fee.