Stormwater utility fees can be reduced if landowners install stormwater treatment systems
It costs communities money to transport, treat, store and manage stormwater discharges and landowners should pay these costs as utility fees. These fees are usually calculated according to lot area or lot coverage. It makes sense that if landowners divert a portion of their stormwater from reaching the stormwater system by encouraging its infiltration into soils or uptake by plants, then they should be credited against these utility charges. These credits can act as incentives to install and maintain green infrastructure and other on-site best practices.
Practices that divert stormwater from an off-site system need to be maintained to function properly, so the credit system will need public oversight and compliance monitoring, which can impose administrative burdens and costs on a local government or utility.
Example 1: Downers Grove, Illinois
Description: The website below links to Downers Grove Stormwater Utility Fee Website. Included in the website is a manual for the credits and incentives available to residents.
Example 2: Minneapolis, Minnesota
Description: The linked site leads to Minneapolis’ incentive program for reducing one’s stormwater utility fee. Minneapolis has the opportunity to reduce the fee by improving stormwater quality or reducing stormwater quantity.
Example 3: Sun Prairie, Wisconsin
Description: The Sun Prairie stormwater utility credit policy is focused on non-single-family residential properties and offers credits based on quality improvement and quantity reduction.