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The stormwater utility fee charges properties in Athens-Clarke County based on that property's contribution to the need for stormwater management. The utility uses the amount of impervious surface, or surface that water is unable to soak into, on a property as the primary basis for the fee. This user-fee system represents a way to raise revenue for the program by charging those who directly contribute to its need. This method presents our community with an alternative to an across-the-board tax hike.
The stormwater utility bill is structured to be paid by the property owner, who might not be the same person who receives the water bill. Property owners make decisions about how the stormwater from their property is managed. In Athens-Clarke County, nearly 50% of properties are occupied by someone other than the owner. Typically, the occupant receives the monthly water bill but it would be inappropriate for a tenant to receive the stormwater utility fee as well.
Stormwater utility bills are based on the amount of impervious surface that is present on the property. The impervious surface is now calculated from 2013 aerial images of every property in the county. If you believe that the area of impervious surface has been calculated incorrectly or has changed since the 2013 images were produced, please contact the Stormwater Management Program at 706-613-3440 or email email@example.com.
Stormwater credits are given to properties with installed and maintained stormwater systems that meet the requirements of the Athens-Clarke stormwater management ordinance and the Georgia Stormwater Management Manual. Stormwater ponds, wetlands, infiltration trenches, and other management systems reduce the velocity or rate of the runoff or clean up the pollutants found in stormwater. When properly maintained and installed, these systems can qualify for a reduction in fee for the property that they serve.
Athens-Clarke County Stormwater offers free rain barrel workshops for the public every fall and spring. To make sure you never miss a workshop, sign up for the Stormwater Education calendar or newsflash. We always post upcoming workshops on the calendar and in our monthly newsletter. If you have any questions or would like to make a container donation, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you cannot wait for one of our workshops, check out this list of rain barrel retailers in Athens. You can also bid on a one-of-a-kind painted rain barrel at Roll Out the Barrels, an annual event that raises funds for the ACC Green School Program.