Stormwater Fee Frequently-Asked-Questions

Learn more about the stormwater utility fee

When did the stormwater fee go into effect?

The City of Raleigh started collecting the stormwater fee in March 2004. There were rate increases in 2016 and 2020. Another fee increase is going into effect on July 1, 2021. 

Who pays the stormwater fee?

All property owners in City of Raleigh limits. This applies to properties with more than 400 square feet of impervious surface. 

How often are you billed?

You're billed monthly. This fee is on the same bill for water and sewer services. If you do not receive water and sewer services from the City of Raleigh, you will get a separate stormwater services bill. 

What is impervious surface area?

Impervious area is hard surface on a property that does not allow rain to soak into ground. This includes roofs, garages, carports, storage sheds, commercial buildings, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, and patios.

Why is the fee based on impervious area?

The fee structure reflects the amount of runoff coming from each property. The more hard surface area on a property, the more stormwater flows to pipes and streams. The fee is set up so that properties that produce more runoff, pay a higher stormwater fee. This helps the City of Raleigh manage how stormwater flows in Raleigh.

What does the fee pay for?

How does the City determine your impervious area?

We use aerial maps to determine how much impervious surface is on your property. For new construction - we refer to the impervious area included on a construction permit. 

What is the Single-family Equivalent Unit?

This unit is the median impervious surface area for properties in Raleigh. Following a statistical sample, we determined that the median unit is 2,260 square feet. This unit is a baseline for monthly rates for residential and commercial properties.

How do I know what my impervious area is if I live in a new development?

Take a look at the construction permit for your property. The permit will list the impervious area.

What happens if I don't pay my bill?

Stormwater, drinking water, and garbage services are all on the same utility bill. If you do not pay this bill, the City of Raleigh may shut off your drinking water. If you don't have a water/sewer account with us - we send the bill to a collection agency and report to the Credit Bureau.

Do you need help paying your bill? Learn more about these assistance programs


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