How the City Sewers are Organized
There are two types of city sewers:
Separate Storm Sewer System
- Waste from buildings and stormwater are channeled through separate pipes
- Wastewater is sent to a treatment plant
- Stormwater is sent to a waterbody
Combined Sewer System
- Both wastewater and stormwater are brought to a treatment plant through one pipe
- In a heavy storm, the water may be discharged into water bodies
Proposed Stormwater Fee
The Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) is the sector of the city that handles the sewer system. During heavy rainfall, the water ends up in the sewers.
Other cities across the country do add a stormwater fee. The amount is based on how much of a specific property is impervious (doesn’t allow the falling water to be absorbed into the ground).
For years, incorporating higher stormwater pollution fees has been discussed within the DEP. A stormwater fee has not been able to be added as of yet, as the DEP’s billing systems haven’t been able to handle this addition. Replacement of the billing system is due to begin in 2019 and take two years.
Once the system is revamped, it’ll be possible to increase water fees. This especially affects lots with large parking lots. The black top does not absorb the water, and it increases runoff, meaning it would have a large percentage of impervious zones.
Decisions have not yet been made by the Water Board, but this topic is something to look to the future towards if your properties have a high amount of water runoff into public sewers.