Stormwater Fee

Read the Stormwater Fee Proposal & Implementation Plan!

Click here to check out the presentation announcing the proposal.

Click here to review the presentation boards.


See the sw fee finder map

City Beautiful H2O is Capital Region Water’s program to restore and beautify our neighborhoods through community greening. We will be investing millions of dollars to repair aging infrastructure, reduce combined sewer overflows, control backups onto streets and into basements to improve the quality of local waterways, and protect public health and safety. This investment will be approximately $315 million over the next 20 years.

Capital Region Water explored various funding alternatives with the goal of creating an equitable approach that considers the financial capability of City residents. It is recommended that Capital Region Water restructure rates and adopt a stormwater fee, a dedicated funding source for the necessary improvements. The stormwater fee will be based on the amount of stormwater each property generates. The amount of stormwater generated is determined by the area of impervious surfaces (e.g.. asphalt, concrete, buildings) on each property. This means that a parking lot that is 80 percent impervious pays a larger fee, while a residential property that is 40 percent impervious pays a smaller fee. This model equitably distributes the cost of stormwater management so that the properties with the most impervious surfaces, which generate the most stormwater, pay the highest fees. If CRW continues to follow the existing rate structure, wastewater rates (based on drinking water consumption) would instead increase to cover necessary expenses. Residential customers, arguably those that can afford it the least, would face a more significant rate increase compared to a fee applied to both residential and non-residential properties.

Capital Region Water is also introducing rate reduction incentives for property owners who decide to proactively manage or reduce stormwater on their property.


What you need to know

  • How we Got Here:
    • The Community Greening Plan (2017) asked the community how we should pay for the cost of stormwater management. Most respondents (86%) preferred a fee based on the amount of stormwater generated, citing that this method more equitably distributes the so that the properties with the most impervious surfaces, as a measure of stormwater runoff, pay the highest fee.
    • Yearly projected stormwater system costs, including operations and maintenance and capital investments, are expected to top $5m per year over the next three years.
  • How the Fee is Calculated: 
    • Impervious area data is gathered from geographic information systems and LIDAR
    • The base or typical residential property fee is based on ~1,000 sf of impervious area which amounts to about $74 per year.
    • The residential stormwater fee structure is broken into three tiers corresponding to residential properties with low, medium, and high amounts of impervious area.
      • Low (Tier 1) impervious properties are assessed at one-half the amount charged to a typical residential property fee.
      • Medium (Tier 2) impervious properties are assessed at the amount of a typical residential property fee (~1,000 sf of impervious area).
      • High (Tier 3) impervious properties are assessed based on the actual amount of impervious area.
    • The non-residential stormwater fee is assessed based on the actual amount of impervious area.
  • How our Fee Compares:
    • The projected fee was less than 12 out of the 20 utilities included in our survey of residential stormwater fees in Pennsylvania.
  • How you can Reduce your Fee!:
    • We’re offering credit and incentive options for owners who are willing to capture or manage some of the stormwater on their property.
      • Stormwater management credits are available for downspout disconnection from storm sewers, rain barrels or cisterns, tree canopy expansion, rain gardens or bioretention, porous pavement, infiltration basins, trenches, green roofs, wet basins, and many other measures.
    • We’re providing property owners with an opportunity to appeal their stormwater fee calculation once per year.
      • Reasons may include incorrect parcel, inaccurate property classification, inaccurate impervious area calculation, or reallocation of stormwater charge among multiple water accounts on a single parcel.