Stormwater Service Charge FAQ
What is stormwater quality and why is important to our community?
When it rains or snows, the precipitation runs off impervious surfaces (roofs, driveways, streets, and parking lots) into the storm sewer system, which can consist of ditches, pipes, and other infrastructure. Stormwater runoff carries with it chemicals, fertilizer, litter, and sediment. Nearly all stormwater infrastructure leads directly to the Wabash River or tributary streams. With little or no treatment, polluted stormwater creates unhealthy conditions for human and aquatic life.
How does new stormwater infrastructure and maintenance of old infrastructure get funded?
Any structure—residential or non-residential—that contributes to stormwater runoff to the sewers, ditches, pond, etc. is required to pay a monthly fee (called a "stormwater utility fee"). Revenue from the stormwater utility fee go toward the upkeep of existing infrastructure and the development of new infrastructure to manage stormwater runoff.
Who pays the stormwater utility fee and how much does it cost?
Stormwater infrastructure benefits all properties contributing stormwater to the sewer system, so all property owners—tax exempt or not—are assessed a stormwater utility fee. The stormwater utility fee differs between the City of Lafayette, City of West Lafayette, Tippecanoe County, Town of Battleground, and Town of Dayton. Please find the rate for the entity in question on our Federal, State, and Local Government Regulations page.
In general, residential properties pay a monthly fee based on the average impervious surface for the average residential parcel size, or an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU). One ERU equals 3,200 square feet.
For non-residential property owners, the impervious surfaces of the parcel are measured to compute the stormwater utility fee. The minimum bill is one ERU.
How is the stormwater utility fee collected?
Property owners (and renters) that have water service billed monthly for the stormwater utility fee as a part of their water or wastewater billing statement. Any property owners without water or wastewater service are billed monthly or twice per year.
What members of the public helped to develop the stormwater utility fee?
Each city and town set up their own advisory panel or committee, made of neighborhood representatives, industries and commercial businesses, property developers, and religious groups. The committees discussed the progress and offered input on the development of a stormwater utility fee and capital improvement projects. Members ultimately assisted in formulating a user fee recommendation for consideration by City and County Councils.