What is the Stormwater Utility and why do we need a Stormwater Utility Fee?
In 2002, the Arizona Department of Environmental Quality in response to Environmental Protection Agency mandates required all municipalities of less than 100,000 people to implement programs and practices to meet various storm water quality and quantity standards. Unfortunately the Federal Government did not provide any funding to meet these standards. This fee will address these federally directed requirements.
What does the fee provide?
The fee will provide both visible and invisible benefits to Town of Oro Valley residents. The visible benefits will include additional street sweeping, vegetation control, culvert maintenance and minor repairs and maintenance after storms.
The less visible benefits include inspections for storm water control devices to ensure their proper operation, development of required storm water regulations and manuals, and studies and designs supporting mandated storm water activities.
Stormwater Utility bill: this is an explanation of what services and programs are paid for from this fee and the options for fee payment.
Effective January 1, 2008, the Oro Valley Town Council approved a Stormwater Utility fee applicable to residences, commercial properties and non-profit properties within the Town limits. The fee is required to address unfunded Federal and State Stormwater requirements, and to ensure that the Town adequately meets the impact and cleanup of Stormwater runoff during and after rainfall events. Other areas also paid from Stormwater Utility fee funds are street sweeping, drainage channel vegetation maintenance, storm system inspections, public outreach as well as minor construction and repair projects.
The fee amount is a flat rate of $4.50 per month for residences and a multiple of the flat rate for commercial and non-profit organizations. Oro Valley Water Utility customers see this fee included and itemized on their monthly water bill. Tucson Water, Metro Water and Well Water customers will receive a separate quarterly bill of $13.50 in January, April, July and October. Billing is processed in arrears and owner address changes during the billing cycle are prorated. Payments are processed through the Oro Valley Water Utility using several payment options which can be viewed on the Town web site at www.orovalleyaz.gov by entering ‘pay stormwater’ in the search field.
What can our residents do to help improve stormwater quality?
On a routine basis, think about your actions, whether it is at home or at work, and what impact they may have on the environment and stormwater quality. It has been shown that urbanization increases the variety and amount of contaminants carried into streams and washes. The contaminants include:
b. Oil, grease, and toxic fluids from motor vehicles,
c. Pesticides and nutrients from lawns and gardens,
d. Viruses, bacteria, and nutrients from pet wastes and failing septic systems,
e. Trace metals and toxic organic compounds from roof shingles, motor vehicles, and improper handling and disposal of paints and household cleaning compounds, and
f. Toxicological and physical affects of debris and waste material generated both residentially and commercially. You can help to lessen the likelihood of contaminants entering stormwater runoff simply by thinking about and conducting your day-to-day activities in an environmentally friendly manner.