Frequently Asked Questions

Can I reduce my stormwater utility bill?

Yes, residential homeowners who meet stormwater reduction requirements may reduce the stormwater utility bill amount.
Residential Stormwater Fee Discount Application

Does everyone pay a Watershed Management (stormwater) utility fee?

All customers with improved properties receiving watershed management service from the City will pay a watershed fee. Only undeveloped properties that have no impervious area are not charged. New development pays watershed management fees, and also pays a system development charge to cover the cost of upgrading the stormwater system to accommodate their increased runoff.

What is stormwater?

Stormwater runoff is all water (rainfall or snow melt) that ultimately flows into drainage facilities, streams, ponds, lakes, wetlands or other waterbodies. Stormwater is prevented from naturally absorbing into the ground because of human sprawl including buildings, parking lots, patios, sidewalks and driveways.

What is my Watershed Management (stormwater) utility bill fee used for?

Watershed Management utility fees are dedicated to the repair, replacement, maintenance and construction of systems to manage stormwater runoff. Fees are used to provide a multitude of services that help to improve water quality and protect aquatic resources.
• Emergency response to hazardous spills
• Identifying and eliminating illicit connections
• Cleaning sediments and other pollutants from catchbasins and stormwater facilities
• Long-term monitoring to assess trends and effectiveness
• Providing public involvement and educational opportunities
• Designing, constructing and maintaining stormwater quantity and quality facilities
• Implementation of Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control inspection and enforcement

Where does my house stormwater drain?

Your private drainage can take various routes before it reaches the public system. Most properties drain to the curb.
• Private drainage responsibilities include keeping runoff from crossing neighbor’s property and directing the runoff to an approved discharge point.
• The City is responsible for runoff from City streets. Generally, the City is responsible for drainage occurring between the curbs; there are some exceptions.
• Report a drainage problem, 503-618-2389.

Why should I have to pay a stormwater fee if I'm not connected to the system and don't have runoff?

Even when the water on your property is managed onsite, the City’s streets are connected to a piped system that drains to local streams or groundwater. The City offers a reduction of a portion of your bill for managing runoff on your property. The remainder of your fee is used to maintain the City’s pipes, manholes, catch basins, outfalls, streams, ponds, swales and rain gardens in order to ensure proper function and prevent flooding.