Where did stormwater utility charge come from?
The Stormwater Utility was approved by City Council on July 2, 2002 and took effect January 1, 2003.
What is stormwater?
Stormwater refers to rain water, snowmelt or excess water from lawn watering that flows off streets and lots. The storm sewer system collects stormwater and disposes it into stormwater lakes, creeks, or the North Saskatchewan River.
What is the stormwater charge for?
The fee is for the collection, quality enhancement and disposal of stormwater that runs off our streets and properties into the sewer system. It includes construction and maintenance of storm sewers, as well as other stormwater management/quality enhancement facilities.
Does everyone pay stormwater utility?
Yes, the utility collects a fee from all customers who benefit from the system. This is to ensure the system is fair and equitable to everyone.
Why am I being charged for something I can’t control?
Stormwater is considered a utility because it provides a base service and benefit to customers. The charge is for the base service, just like there is a basic or flat service fee each month for the use of the sanitary sewer.
Do other municipalities use the utility bill to collect funding for stormwater?
In both Canada and the U.S., other municipalities have implemented Stormwater Utility.
How do the costs in Edmonton compare with other municipalities?
The rates in Edmonton are about average compared to existing utilities in Canada and the U.S.
Don’t we already pay for stormwater through Property Taxes?
Not anymore. The Stormwater Utility replaces paying for the system through property taxes.
Is this a once a year utility charge?
No. It appears on your EPCOR bill each month.
How was my fee calculated?
The utility fee reflects the demand each type of property places on the system. The monthly stormwater fee which may vary for each property is calculated based on four factors:
- Area of Property – The lot size in square metres.
- Intensity of Development Factor – The measure of the portion of lot being utilized for its intended development. Typically, the factor is 1. For properties which are largely undeveloped or utilizing on-site stormwater management, or for properties draining directly to the North Saskatchewan River, a reduced factor may apply.
- Runoff coefficient – The measure of runoff, acknowledging impervious characteristics of the property as identified by zoning type. Example – grass areas have less runoff than concrete. Depending on the zoning type runoff factors vary from 0.2 to 0.95.
- Rate – The rate approved by City Council applies to all properties.
Where did you get the lot size information?
From the property tax assessment database.
Why is the size they have for my property different than what is on the tax bill?
Call 311 for more information.
How was the rate determined?
The rate was set to ensure that the drainage system can maintain services and infrastructure as well as meet its financial obligations in the future.
Is GST charged to my utility fee?
No, GST is not charged on drainage fees.
I have an on-site stormwater management system on my commercial/industrial property. Can I get a credit/rebate for conserving and capturing stormwater?
Yes. There is a
credit program for non-residential customers
who have largely undeveloped properties, on-site stormwater management systems, or properties draining directly into the North Saskatchewan River.
Can I appeal my utility fee?
Only the development intensity factor can be appealed. Customers who have applied for a credit program to reduce their utility bill, but cannot reach an agreement with EPCOR on their property's development intensity, can appeal. For more information on appeals,
Who do I call at the City to question how my utility fee was calculated?
Call 311 for more information.