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Frequently Asked Questions About Chesapeake Stormwater
On this page:
- Why do I have to pay a stormwater bill?
- What is a BMP Credit?
- What is an ERU?
- How do I calculate my stormwater fee?
- When was the last stormwater fee increase?
- Who has to pay the stormwater fee?
- How do I request stormwater services?
Rainwater falling on rooftops, pavement, and other impervious surfaces runs off in greater quantity and contains more pollutants than rain falling on unimproved forests and grasslands. In developed areas, this runoff must be managed to keep it from causing flooding and to remove the pollutants before it is discharged into streams and rivers. The revenue generated from the stormwater fee is used to maintain ditches, piped systems, and other stormwater structures, and also to ensure that pollutants carried by stormwater runoff are removed before the runoff reaches our waterways.
Best Management Practices (BMPs) are devices used for on-site control of stormwater runoff and provide water quality improvements. Examples of BMPs include wet retention ponds, dry retention ponds, grass swales with check dams, and infiltration devices. Non-residential property owners who use BMPs can apply for a credit in stormwater fees.
An Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) is equal to the average impervious area determined from an evaluation of all the residential parcels within the City. For Chesapeake, 1 ERU = 2,112 square feet.
All single family customers pay a flat fee based on the current monthly rate. The current monthly rate is listed on the bill. Multi-family units are charged the current monthly rate per ERU. Commercial customers' stormwater bills are calculated as follows:
Total annual fee = (total impervious area) divided by the base ERU (2,112 sq. ft.) × (current approved rate/ERU/month) × (12 months)
The stormwater fee rate is reviewed and approved annually by City Council.
In March of 2006, City Council voted to increase stormwater fee over the course of three years in an effort to fund an extensive backlog of work. The increase went into effect on January 1, 2007 and has remained the same ever since.
Every property owner in the City of Chesapeake who has any kind of improvements (buildings, parking lots, driveways) on their property is assessed a stormwater fee. Agricultural or undeveloped property is not assessed a stormwater fee.
You can request service by calling 382-CITY (382-2489).
If you have questions about your current stormwater bill, you can contact the Division of Stormwater Management at 382-3330.