South Salt Lake is proposing a new Stormwater Utility Fee to ensure the health, safety and quality of our waterways.
Everyday activities Make a huge difference in water quality
Stormwater is not treated - everything in the water that flows into your storm drain ends up in the Millcreek and Jordan Rivers. Everyday activities make a huge difference in water quality and everyone in the city is responsible for improving and protecting the water that travels downstream.
If stormwater is polluted, it can pose serious risk to the health and safety of our residents, the environment and our neighorhoods.
Why Is a utility fee needed?
The City lacks the funding needed to properly maintain the stormwater system and meet State and Federal water quality regulations.
In addition to funding $11 million in much-needed capital improvement projects over the next 10-20 years, this new dedicated stormwater funding would allow the City to:
Currently, South Salt Lake is the only city (with the exception of the newly formed Millcreek City) that does not collect a stormwater fee. If the City does not implement a Stormwater Utility Fee, the State may not renew our stormwater permit and the City could face major fines. These fines could increase the City's costs, which could result in a reduction of services and possibly an increase in other city taxes or fees.
What Will it Mean for Residents & Businesses?
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: What is stormwater?
Stormwater is any water that falls from the sky including rain, hail and snow. Stormwater runoff is stormwater that runs across hard surface and can collect debris and other pollutants as it flows into our stormwater system and into local waterways like rivers, streams and lakes.
Q: What is a Stormwater Utility Fee?
A stormwater fee, like a water or sewer fee, is a utility fee that raises funds specifically for stormwater water maintenance, improvements, and education. It cannot be used for any other purposes.
Q: Why does SSL need a Stormwater Utility Fee?
State and Federal water quality standards require the City to comply with stormwater discharge mandates. The Stormwater Utility Fee would provide the City with the funding needed to properly maintain the stormwater system and meet water quality regulations. If the City does not implement a Stormwater Utility Fee, the State may not renew their stormwater permit and the City may face major fines.
Q: How is the Stormwater Utility Fee calculated?
All single-family residences would pay a flat $4.00 per month fee. This is based on the average amount of Impervious Surface Area, 2,700 square-feet, for a residential property in South Salt Lake.
Commercial and multifamily-residential properties would be charged $4.00 for every 2,700 square-feet of Impervious Surface Area. Impervious Surface areas include rooftops, sidewalks, walkways, patios, driveways, parking lots and any other surface that does not allow water to soak into the ground.
Q: Why is the commercial and multifamily-residential Stormwater Utility Fee based off of Impervious Surface Area?
Stormwater runoff directly correlates to the amount of impervious surface area because it does not allow water to soak in like it normally would. The greater the impervious surface area the more water that is likely to enter the stormwater system resulting in increased maintenance and repair costs. Businesses and non-residential properties typically have more Impervious Surface Area that the average residential property in the City.
Q: Who would pay the Stormwater Utility Fee?
All property owners within the City of South Salt Lake limits, including businesses and non-residential/commercial properties, would pay a Stormwater Utility Fee.
Q: Why is it a utility fee and not a tax?
A utility fee allows for more equitable distribution of the costs to maintain and service the City’s stormwater system because it is paid by all users, even renters and businesses, and is based only on what is needed (i.e. the amount of Impervious Surface Area). Because a fee can only be used for the purpose it is collected for, a fee ensures that all funding will go back into the stormwater system and not be utilized for other purposes.
Q: How does the City currently pay for Stormwater services?
Currently, the City’s stormwater budget comes from the General Fund. The General Fund does not provide adequate funding for the City to properly maintain the stormwater system and meet water quality standards.
Q: Where will property owners see the Stormwater Utility Fee?
If the City Council passes the stormwater ordinance, the Stormwater Utility Fee will be added to property owners existing utility bill.
Q: Isn’t stormwater system the same as our sewer system?
No. Stormwater and sewer are two completely different systems. The sewer system takes all the wastewater from toilets, showers, and sinks and carries it through your plumbing system to a water treatment facility. The stormwater system drains rainwater and other outdoor water such as sprinkler water directly into local waterways like the Jordan River and the Millcreek. Because of the sheer volume of this runoff, stormwater is not treated which is why it is important to keep pollutants out at the source.