Stormwater is a utility that deals with wet weather issues and is necessary to the community. Every property owner's bill is calculated the same way and everyone pays based on how much their property contributes to the stormwater system.
After a heavy rain or snow the ground can only soak up a limited amount of water. The rest of the water goes into the stormwater system. Our City relies on a stormwater system of pipes, creeks, ravines, culverts and more to manage wet weather. This storm system constantly needs upkeep to work as it should, and this requires funding. The stormwater utility is a new funding stream that is dedicated to the stormwater system. For the first time ever, Grants Pass has a way to maintain and strengthen this crucial system for the well being of our City.
What Makes Up the City of Grants Pass' Stormwater System?
When stormwater runs off your property, it has to go somewhere – it goes into the stormwater system. the City of Grants Pass covers 27,000 acres of drainage and there is more than 138 miles of underground pipe. For years, erosion, flooding, other damage from runoff, and time have taken their toll on our infrastructure. Because we all depend on it every day, no matter where in the city we live, we all share responsibility for making sure the system is working and well maintained.
How much will my Stormwater Utility Rate be?
The Stormwater Utility Rate is based on the impervious surface of a property. The impervious surface of a property is land that can not absorb water runoff. This surface is calculated as an Equivalent Service Unit (ESU) that equals 3,700 square feet. The average impervious surface for a single-family dwelling is 3,700 square feet, or one ESU. This rate for 2023 is $8.41 for a single-family dwelling and billed monthly on your Utility Bill.
For other developed parcels the total impervious surface is divided by 3,700 SF or one ESU. This is for non-single family residences.
For example if you have 6,882 SF of Impervious Surface: 6,882 SF divided by 3700 SF per ESU = 1.86
1.86 ESU times $7.78 per ESU - $15.64 monthly stormwater charge.
The Path of the Stormwater
As the City of Grants Pass has grown so has our "impervious" foot print. With the addition of parking lots, subdivisions, driveways, and roofs the rainwater is no longer allowed to soak into the ground. Instead, the water runs off or is directed to other locations eliminating the natural, intended flow.
More pavement, more problems.
Water needs a place to go
When we have wet weather, all that stormwater needs a place to go.
After landscaped surfaces have soaked up the rainwater there is still a lot of runoff.
No where for water to go
Stormwater has a hard time getting absorbed on impervious surfaces, like roofs, patios, driveways, and parking lots.
Water picks up everything in its path
The stormwater that runs off homes and businesses picks up pollutants and debris and then it enters into a larger system through inlets and drains.
Untreated water runs to the Rogue
Untreated stormwater travels through town and will eventually end up in the Rogue River.
Some water gets in the sewer system
Water finds its way into the sewer system and has to be treated before it goes to the Rogue River. That puts excess load on the Water Restoration Plant.