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Water Quality


WATER QUALITY PROGRAM: The Water Quality Fee formerly known as "The Stormwater Fee"


Chattanooga City Code, Part II, Chapter 31, Article VIII, Division 7, Fees, Section 31-354, Schedule of Fees, be and the same as hereby deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:

Schedule of Fees.

(a) Residential Properties. The annual water quality fee per ERU as of the adoption of this ordinance shall be set at a flat rate of $115.20.

(b) Nonresidential Properties. The annual water quality fee per ERU as of the adoption of this ordinance shall be set at $115.20 per ERU; provided however:

(i) for bills issued on October 1, 2009 for calendar year 2009, the water quality fee per ERU shall be temporarily reduced to $73.80.

(ii) for bills issued on October 1, 2010 for calendar year 2010 for calendar year 2010, the water quality fee per ERU shall be temporarily reduced to $87.00.

(iii) for bills issued on October 1, 2011 for calendar year 2011, the water quality fee per ERU shall be temporarily reduced to $96.00.

(iv) for bills issued on October 1, 2012 for calendar year 2012, the water quality fee per ERU shall be temporarily reduced to $105.00.

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For more information regarding Water Quality Fee Credit and Appeals and City Ordinance , Click Here

 

Questions and Answers

For questions regarding Water Quality Fee click here.

1. What is the Water Quality Fee?
Previously known as "Storm Water Fee", the Water Quality Fee is a user Fee and not a Tax. The Water Quality Fee covers the costs to manage the City Water Quality Program responsible for reducing stormwater runoff pollutants. This Fee also used to maintain the City stormwater sewer system, which is separated from the sanitary sewer system. The Fee was levied in 1993. There has been no increase in the Fee since 1993.

2. Why Charge a Water Quality Fee?
In compliance with Tennessee Water Quality Control Act of 1977 and in compliance with the provisions of the Federal Clean Water Act of 1972 as amended by the Water Quality Act of 1987, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation (TDEC) requires that the City of Chattanooga implement a storm water management program. It is the intent of the City of Chattanooga that the costs of operation, maintenance, and improvement of the City stormwater system are borne by the users of the system in relation to their contributions of water quality to the system. Storm water user fee is authorized under TCA 68-221-1107.

3. Why is Stormwater a Problem?
Stormwater flows off impervious surface (buildings, parking lots, driveways, and streets) picking up trash and pollutants before entering storm drains that discharge through the City stormwater system into our local streams and river.

4. How is the Fee Calculated?
The new impervious area method calculates actual impervious surface for multi-family residential (apartments) and non-residential parcels based on aerial photography. The impervious area method is used by a majority of storm water utility user fee programs across the United States. The impervious area includes buildings, rooftops, driveways (paved or gravel), parking lots (paved or gravel) and sidewalks (paved or gravel). Single and two-family residential impervious area is estimated to be 3,200 square feet based on 396 random samples (of single and two-family parcels) measured. This average residential impervious area (3,200 square feet) would be known as Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU). Each multi-family residential (apartments) and non-residential having impervious area would be assigned at least one ERU (rounded according to mathematical convention). A flat charge of 1 ERU will apply to all single and two-family residential parcels and each condominium unit. See examples (#14).

5. Are there any exemptions?
TCA 68-221-1107 provides Exemption for users that do not discharge into a municipal stormwater system.

6. Are there any credits?
Yes
. Upon submitting an application with supporting documents, multi-family and non-residential users with 3 ERUs or more maybe qualified to receive up to 85% in Water Quality Fee reduction. The Fee reduction is provided for facilities with enhanced water quantity and quality controls measures.

7. What are the services that are provided with the Water Quality Fee?
In 1996, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued the City of Chattanooga a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit that contains more than 131 requirements such as detailed mapping and maintenance of the stormwater system, implementation of illicit discharge elimination program, industrial facilities inspection and monitoring, construction activities permitting and inspection, municipal facilities monitoring, stormwater runoff and stream sampling.

Additional regulatory needs require additional resources for the City to meet its NPDES permit obligations. In addition to the NPDES permit requirements, Tennessee Department of Environment and Conservation issued the City of Chattanooga, in 2006, a new federal unfunded requirement known as Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs) requiring the City to conduct additional stream sampling and developing new programs to reduce stream habitat alteration, and pathogens and sedimentation loadings into our streams.

11. Who gets the bill?
The property owner is responsible to pay the Water Quality Fee. The Water Quality Fee is assessed on the property owner tax bill.

12. What additional services are provided?
To comply with state regulations, existing water quality programs need to be expanded and additional programs need to be implemented. Such programs would include, stream assessment and restoration, stormwater retrofitting, and sanitary sewer discharge detection and elimination. In addition to regulatory requirements, stormwater drainage system maintenance and flooding management services would be increased to include flood mapping and drainage system upgrade.

13. How will the fee benefit me?
The fee will be used to reduce and prevent pollution, provide guidance for construction and industrial activities, and control flooding through constructing, cleaning and maintaining stormwater infrastructures (i.e. roadways, inlets, pipes, ditches, detention facilities).

14. Examples of Water Quality Charges:

a) For Single and Two-Family Residential Parcels
Each single or two-family residential property is equals to one residential unit (1 ERU). The Water Quality fee for these residential properties is $115.20 per year.

b) For Multi-Family Residential (Condos)
Each Condo unit will be assigned 1 ERU. The Water Quality fee for these residential properties is $115.20 per year.

c) For Multi-Family Residential (Apartments) and Non-Residential Parcels
Step 1: Assume an impervious area of 100,000 sq. ft.
Step 2: Divide 100,000 sq. ft. by 3,200 sq. ft. (1 ERU) = 31.25 ERUs
Step 3: Round down (or up) using standard mathematical rounding = 31 ERUs
Step 4: Multiply 31 by $73.80 (2009 Rate ) = $2,287.80 (2009 Water Quality Fee)

City Treasurer's Office
101 East 11th Street Suite 100
Chattanooga, TN 37402  (map)
(423) 643-7262

Theresa Lee, City Treasurer
E-mail:
tlee@chattanooga.gov

Sharon Morris, Assistant Treasurer
E-mail:
morris_s@chattanooga.gov

For inquiries regarding property taxes

423-643-7262 or email ptax@chattanooga.gov

For inquiries regarding sewer fees

Dial 311 or 423-643-6311 or email 311@chattanooga.gov

For inquiries regarding business license

423 643-7260 or email busl@chattanooga.gov

For inquiries regarding sewer fees

 

Dial 311 or 423-643-6311 or email 311@chattanooga.gov

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