Stormwater Utility Charge

It has been asked why there is no credit or rebate for the Stormwater Utility fee when there has not been any rain? The following information will answer your question.

About Your Bill

On your monthly bill there is a line item for :Stormwater". View an example bill (JPG). The charge for the Stormwater Utility is based on “Equivalent Runoff Unit” (ERU). The ERU is the statistical average horizontal impervious area of a single family and duplex within the City. Multi-family, commercial, and industrial buildings impervious areas are measured to determine the amount of ERUs to be charged. This explains how the stormwater charge is based.

The fee charged for each ERU is based on three components:

  • Base: This is annual administrative and management costs of the Stormwater Utility.
  • Operation and Maintenance: This is the annual costs for the operation and maintenance of the Stormwater Utility functions. The functions include the maintenance and repair of:
    • Catch basins
    • Compost site and yard waste management
    • Detention ponds
    • Ditches
    • Lake management items such as lake weed control
    • Stormwater equipment used for repairs and maintenance
    • Stormwater sewers
    • Street sweeping
    • Swales
  • Capital and Debt Service: These costs are for the replacement or new construction of the stormwater conveyance system components, which includes storm sewer pipes, catch basins, retention and detention ponds, etc.

No Rain but Still a Charge

So why is there not a credit if no rain? The Stormwater Utility must maintain the stormwater conveyance system to be ready for the next precipitation event. During the dry spell this year, there was considerably more street sweeping done due to leaves and debris in the streets. Some detention ponds are designed to be dry and they require mowing and maintenance to the banks as well.

Equipment repairs are ongoing for the utility’s equipment, which includes backhoe, truck, loader, and street sweepers. All these tasks noted above along with many others still occur even if there is not rain and do occur year around.

Catch Basin Grate Cleaning

I also want to note to the Council and the citizens that one of the more labor intensive maintenance items staff does is catch basin grate cleaning during and after rains. Debris clogs the catch basin grates inlet and slows or stops stormwater from entering the stormwater conveyance system and actually causes street flooding in some areas of the city.

This debris is typically and mainly grass clippings. It is for this reason that there is an ordinance that prohibits the mowing of grass into the street as well as placing any type of debris in the street including leaves. Please do not mow your lawn clippings into the street.