The drainage fee was approved at the June 13, 1995 City Council meeting.
The rate remained the same for nine years, with the first increase approved in 2004.
|Stormwater Drainage Fee as of July 1, 2012|
|3/4" or smaller||$5.32|
|1 1/2" Meter||$19.07|
|16" and Larger||$615.12|
Why do we have to pay to meet EPA requirements?
Washington did not provide any money to pay for meeting the requirements. Every large city in the United States must spend local money – millions of dollars – to avoid crippling fines.
What is the difference between stormwater drainage and sewage?
The storm water drainage system and the wastewater system are completely separate. The storm water drainage network of ditches, streams and underground pipes carry away outside water-water from hoses and sprinklers as well as rain water. This water goes directly back to rivers, lakes and streams.
The sanitary or wastewater sewer system takes away water which goes down the drains inside your house. This water from sinks, toilets and washing machines flows to wastewater treatment plants and is filtered and treated before it is discharged back to rivers, lakes and streams.
How was the amount of the fee decided?
The City Council instructed the Public Works Department to keep the fee as low as possible and still meet the mandates. Your monthly charge is based on the budget we need just to carry out the requirements. (Last year we completed the first phase of the EPA regulatory process. Our cost for that was second lowest per person of all the participating cities in the United States.)
How will the drainage fee money be spent?
Revenue from this new fee can only be used for the storm water drainage program. We will account for it separately, just like water and sanitary sewer payments.
Broadly, the money will go to reduce storm water pollution of lakes, rivers and streams. Specifically, drainage fee revenues will be spent to:
Will drainage fee money be used to stop flooding?
The drainage fee is needed just to meet the EPA regulations but some of those projects will help reduce flooding. For example, removing silt and repairing storm drains will allow water to flow through the system better. And, the master drainage plan is the foundation for long range flood control.
How does storm water pollute rivers?
Although industry is a major source of this pollution, we all contribute to the problem. Residue from insecticides, cleaning and lawn care products we use at home washes down our sidewalks and driveways. It goes into the storm drainage system and ends up in rivers, lakes and streams.
Is Oklahoma City's runoff really a pollution problem?
Although ours is not as bad as many places, we still fall short of EPA's strict standards. So, while the debate about our water and how clean is clean enough continues in Washington, we must comply with the foot-high stack of regulations now on the books.