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EASY Ways You Can Help!
Every homeowner can do small, easy things to help keep stormwater clean. Here are some tips!
Stormwater Utility Fee
What is It?
A fee that you pay twice a year to fund a Comprehensive Stormwater Management Program (CSMP), which is mandated by state and federal law.
Why is it Needed?
The CSMP makes it possible for us to collect and manage stormwater runoff (rain) to minimize flooding, keep waterways clean, protect drinking water supplies and protect human health. The City is responsible for moving rain water away from roads and property to prevent flooding (managing quantity) but also must protect our rivers, streams and the Chesapeake Bay from pollution (managing quality).
What Does it Pay for?
- Street Sweeping: 5030 miles swept; 3821 tons of trash and debris removed
- Ditch Cleaning: 81 miles of open ditch; 3514 tons of trash and debris removed
- Pipe Flushing: 14 miles of pipes; 316,600 gallons of wet trash and debris removed
- Drainage Structures: 930 structures (manholes, catch basins, curb drains) cleaned/maintained
- Capital Improvement Projects
- Pollution Discharges to Stormwater System: 175 pollution reports resolved; 25 preventative screening inspections completed
- Stormwater Citizen Calls (i.e. blocked ditch or pipe, cave-in, flooding, etc.): 2618 calls received and responded to
- Detention/Retention Basins Maintenance: 130 basins maintained
- Inspections: 543 stormwater detention/retention basins inspected for proper operation
- Erosion and Sediment Control: 3775 construction site compliance inspections conducted, preventing sediment and debris from entering waterways
- Public Education Programs: www.AskHRGreen.org
*Figures are from FY 2013.
Who Pays This Fee?
Owners of developed property (properties that contain hardened surfaces, also called impervious area, such as roofs, buildings, pavement, concrete), both residential and non-residential, are billed this fee.
How is the Fee Determined?
Residential: Residential property owners are billed a flat rate. Residential properties include single family homes, mobile homes, multifamily dwellings and condominiums. As of 2014, residential rates in Chesapeake are $7.35 per month (billed twice a year as $44.10), which is among the lowest in Hampton Roads. Fees in other cities are as follows: Virginia Beach $12.71; Norfolk $10.37; Portsmouth $8.25; Newport News $8.00; Hampton $6.99.
Non-Residential: The formula for determining non-residential property fees is as follows: An Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) is equal to the average impervious area (areas covered with residences, buildings, driveways, etc.) determined from all residential units in the City. That average impervious area for Chesapeake has been determined to be 2,112 square feet. Therefore, divide the total impervious area of a non-residential property by one ERU (2,112 SF) to obtain the number of ERUs, and multiply that by the flat residential rate. The minimum utility fee for any property shall be no less than one ERU.
What about Credits?
Currently owners of non-residential property can qualify for a credit on their utility fee by utilizing Best Management Practices (BMPs). BMPs are practices used for on-site control of stormwater runoff and to provide water quality improvements (i.e., detention lakes, retention ponds, vegetated buffer strips, grassed swales, etc.). Public Works has established a Stormwater Utility Credit Criteria in accordance with City Code. In order to qualify for credit, applications for the new credit must be submitted and approved. Copies of the Stormwater Utility Credit Criteria and applications are available from Public Works by calling 382-3330, or can be downloaded here . Public Works will review the credit request within 60 days upon receipt of a completed application, calculations and all necessary supporting plans, drainage area maps and drainage summaries. Prior to receiving a credit, the landowner shall also enter into a City standard agreement ensuring proper maintenance of the facility and permitting inspection by Public Works personnel.
How do I pay?
You can pay your bill by mail, phone or online.