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The amount of impervious surface on a property is the single most important factor affecting the amount of water flowing off a property, how quickly that water flows off a property, and the amount of pollution picked up by the water from that property. Because of this, basing stormwater utility fees on the impervious area on a property is one of the most common methods used to determine stormwater utility fees in North Carolina. The City of Durham is one of more than 30 North Carolina municipalities that base their stormwater utility fees on the amount of impervious area on a property.
An impervious surface is a hard surface that does not let water soak into the ground or greatly reduces the amount of water that soaks into the ground. For more information, please visit our Impervious Surface page.
The amount of impervious area on your property is determined through the use of a geographic information system (GIS), aerial photos, and satellite imagery. Images are taken of Durham that show the impervious surfaces on each property. A computer program is then used to calculate the amount of impervious area on each parcel. To view impervious area on your property visit the Stormwater Utility Fee Map.
You have the right to appeal your stormwater utility fee if you feel the calculation of impervious area for your property is incorrect. Learn more on the Stormwater Appeals Form page.
Having several tiers allows the city to bill properties based on how much runoff they contribute to the storm drain system. This is fairer than charging all properties the same amount no matter how much (or how little) demand they place on the stormwater drainage system.
There are 3 tiers for residential billing (Effective July 1, 2020):
Residential properties with less than 2,000 square feet of impervious area are charged a yearly stormwater utility rate of $42.00.
Residential properties with impervious areas between 2,000 square feet and 4,000 square feet are charged a yearly stormwater utility rate of $87.00.
Residential properties with more than 4,000 square feet of impervious area are charged a yearly stormwater utility rate of $174.24.