Storm Water User Fees
In 2004, TDEC issued the city their Phase II storm water permit. The permit requires the city to implement six minimum storm water controls. In order to be in compliance and meet conditions of the Phase II storm water permit, considerable expenditures are required by the city to be in compliance and meet conditions of the Phase II permit. Permit noncompliance constitutes a violation of the Clean Water act and/or the Tennessee Water Quality Control Act and is grounds for enforcement actions: permit termination; revocation and re-issuance; modification or for denial of a permit renewal application.
Any of these enforcement actions would result in significant consequences for the city. However, TDEC or EPA does not provide funding to implement the Phase II storm water permit. The city's storm water fee will provide the city with the resources necessary to meet the permit requirements. The ordinance for establishing the storm water user fee can be found here.
Storm Water Minimum Storm Water Controls
- Public education and outreach
- Public participation and involvement
- Illicit discharge detection and elimination
- Construction site runoff control
- Post-construction runoff control
- Pollution prevention and good housekeeping
What is an Impervious Surface and How is the Fee Determined?
An impervious surface is a surface where rainwater cannot infiltrate into the ground, therefore, creating runoff that eventually flows into a storm drain. Why are impervious surfaces important? Increased areas of impervious surfaces increase the volume of storm water runoff, place a greater load on infrastructure and increase pollutants that flow into our creeks, streams and lakes.
For these reasons, the area of impervious surface on a property is the standard method of assessing a storm water fee. The average impervious area of single-family residential properties in Springfield is 3,465 square feet, based on a review of over 7,000 properties. This 3,465 value is designated as an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU).
All single-family residences pay a flat fee of $2.00 per month while commercial properties pay a storm water fee based on how many equivalent ERU's of impervious surface that is on their property. For example, a commercial property with 34,650 square feet of impervious surface would pay a fee of ten (10) times $2.00 or $20.00 per month.
Property taxes are based on property value and have nothing to do with the amount of runoff contributed by the property. With a storm water utility, properties pay for storm water based on their runoff contribution. This means that if they contribute more runoff they must also contribute more to managing the runoff. The user fee only applies to properties within the Springfield city limits.
What is the Goal of the Storm Water Fee?
- BMPs integrated with road construction
- Flood damage reduction and drainage
- For the city to comply with federal and state regulations - unfunded mandate
- Maintain good water quality in our creeks, streams and lakes so Springfield waterways are healthy for habitat and human recreation
- Provide education for schools
- Provide long term system maintenance and mapping
- Protect our water supply
- Stream restoration projects