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Examples of Stormwater Utility Fees Around the Country


Abilene, TX ( The Abilene City Council voted on Aug. 28 to create a Stormwater Utility to will assist the city in complying with state and federal regulations, assure consistent attention to flooding problems and provide a funding mechanism for capital projects. Website includes fee chart.

Bellingham, WA ( Bellingham Municipal Code Chapter 15.16 Surface and Stormwater Utility

Castle Rock, CO (
An interim fee was established in early 2002 to cover the costs of the Stormwater master planning effort and some critical drainage projects. The fee is $2.00 per month for single family residences; non-residential and multi-family units are being charged a fee based on the percentage of the property covered with roofs, paved areas such as driveway and parking lots, and other impervious surfaces. The interim fee is included in your monthly utility bill.

A permanent fee to cover the operation, maintenance, and improvement of storm drainage facilities will be established once the Stormwater Master Plan is completed. The Stormwater Management fee will be used to maintain and upgrade drainage facilities within the Town, enhancing your quality of life and the value of your property.

Duluth, MN - ( The Stormwater utility fee is based on the residential dwelling unit. As defined in ordinance No. 9369, "dwelling unit" means a single unit that provides complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provision for living, sleeping, eating, cooking, and sanitation. Residential property is charged a fee of $3.75 per dwelling unit, as set by the Duluth City Council.

Golden Valley, MN ( The City of Golden Valley established a Stormwater Utility Fee in 1992. The City's Stormwater Utility revenue is generated by fees according to land use. The Stormwater Utility Fee is the primary funding source for all Stormwater improvements related to the City's Surface Water Management Plan, Pavement Management Program and NPDES Phase II requirements. A breakdown of property types and collection rates is available on the web site.

Greensboro, NC ( On July 1, 1994, the City of Greensboro began assessing a Stormwater utility fee against all real property based on the hard, or "impervious" surface (rooftops, driveways, etc.) found on that property. Income from this utility fee supports the City's Stormwater Management Program. Stormwater Utility fees are: Single Family Residence, $2.44/month; Other Property Units (i.e. commercial & institutional), $2.44/month per ERU (or portion thereof). The "ERU" or Equivalent Residential Unit, is a measure of the average number of square feet (2,543) of impervious surface found at residential properties throughout the city.

Houston, TX ( The City of Houston City Council has voted to combine the water, wastewater and drainage systems into a single utility. This will lead to a refinancing of the current debt in the fall of 2003. A new stormwater fee will be levied to support O&M and other items for stormwater. Capital expenses of the stormwater system will be financed by funds from the refinancing. The fee would begin in January 2004. It is currently estimated to range from $2.00 per month for about 2400 square feet of impervious cover.

Mason, OH ( Residential and business owners see a small charge on their monthly utility bill, with the revenues earmarked solely for Stormwater purposes. Residents of Mason pay just $3 per month per residential unit for the Stormwater utility. Businesses pay a fee based on the amount of impervious surfaces on their property (surfaces that do not absorb water.) Impervious surfaces include roofs, parking lots, sidewalks, etc.

Miami, Dade County, FL ( The Stormwater Utility uses an engineering approach to determine its fee structure. Instead of tacking the fee to everyone’s property tax, the Utility determines the size of a given property that is “impervious” to rainwater and calculates the fee based on that figure. That way, the Stormwater Utility is charging a fee based on the runoff generated from those impervious surfaces (like rooftops and parking lots), since this runoff is what the Stormwater Utility is going to have to handle.

The Utility conducted a statistical analysis to establish an “Equivalent Residential Unit” for residential properties. The value of one ERU is set at 1,548 square feet and incurs a charge of $3.50 per month for residential homes. The $3.50 a month Utility fee is one of the lowest rates in the State of Florida.

McKinney, TX (

Residential Fee
Each house, apartment and duplex, regardless of size, will be charged an additional $1 per month for the Stormwater Drainage Utility System. The charge will be included on his or her water bill statement.
The residential fee will be $1 per month.

Commercial Fee
The fee for commercial and industrial properties is based on the amount of "impervious area," where water is not readily absorbed, such as roofs, driveways and parking lots. The fee will be calculated on the following formula. (square feet of impervious area / 2,343*) X $1 = monthly fee

Rochester, MN ( The Rochester City Council adopted a resolution to set the Stormwater unit rate for 2004 at $12.77/acre/month. This sets in motion the creation of a Stormwater Utility to generate revenue to be used solely for Stormwater management purposes.

At the adopted rate, the monthly Fee for residential customers will be $3.00 per month. The monthly Fee for non-residential customers will vary based on individually measured parcel sizes and impervious areas. The non-residential Fees will now be 20% less than had been originally communicated in the July mailing from RPU containing an “Estimate of Fees”.

The City Council adopted the Stormwater Utility Fee on 10/6/2003 that will be charged to all residential and non-residential property owners. The Fee will appear as a monthly charge on the Rochester Public Utility (RPU) bill. Billing will begin in January 2004. The Fee will be used exclusively to support the Stormwater management program.

All property owners will be charged a Fee based on the size of the property, land use, and amount of impervious surface area. The Fee is an equitable way to finance Rochester’s Stormwater management program because it is proportional to a property’s contribution to Stormwater runoff and impact on water quality.

Property tax exempt properties, such as churches, school districts, and the City of Rochester, will also be charged a Stormwater Utility Fee. Every developed property that contributes to Stormwater runoff will be asked to pay its fair share. Rochester, MN Stormwater Utility Fee Credit Manual

San Antonio, TX ( The Stormwater Utility is a special purpose program within the City that provides Stormwater management. In the same way that water and sanitary sewer utilities are self-supporting, a Stormwater Utility charges fees for the operation and maintenance of the Stormwater infrastructure, engineering and design, and for capital improvements. The Utility will work to solve drainage problems and improve surface water quality, to prevent future problems, and to repair, maintain, and enhance the Stormwater infrastructure.

Other Resources:

Developing Equitable Stormwater Fees from Stormwater Journal

An Internet Guide to Financing Stormwater Management

NRDC Report - Funding and Gaining Support for Stormwater Programs

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