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 It Is 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 rainwater 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 It Pays For

  • Maintenance of the storm sewer system and curb/gutter streets by:

        Street Sweeping

        Ditch Cleaning

         Pipe Flushing

         Clearing Drainage and Stormwater Structures

  • Water Quality and Flooding Capital Improvement Projects
  • Contractual Repairs and Improvements to the Stormwater Sewer System
  • Investigation and Prevention of Pollution Discharges to Stormwater System
  • Response to Spills and Citizen Calls
  • Stormwater Treatment Facility Maintenance and Inspections
  • Inspections of the Stormwater Collection and Conveyance System
  • Erosion and Sediment Control and Stormwater Inspection Program for construction sites (new development)
  • Public Education/Outreach Programs including: www.AskHRGreen.org
  • Compliance with the City's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) permit issued by the Virginia Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)

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 the Fee Is Determined

Residential: Residential property owners are billed a flat rate. Residential properties include single-family homes, mobile homes, multifamily dwellings and condominiums. As of 2023, residential rates in Chesapeake are $11.35 per month (billed twice a year as $68.10), which is among the lowest in Hampton Roads.

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 (SF). 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 757-382-3330, or online (PDF). 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 to Pay

You can pay your bill by mail, phone or online.

Easy Ways You Can Help!

Every homeowner can do small, easy things to help keep stormwater clean. Here are some tips!