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Stormwater Management Division
Chesapeake property owners will receive a higher-than-normal Stormwater Utility Fee in their June 2023 bills.
As part of the FY23 Budget, Chesapeake City Council approved a Stormwater Utility Fee rate increase to take effect on July 1, 2022. The rate was increased from $7.35 to $11.35 per month ($44.10 to $68.10 respectively when billed every six months) for residential properties, which is still one of the lowest fees in all of Hampton Roads.
The rate change was the first increase since 2010 and unfortunately, due to technical issues with the City’s billing management system, the change was not reflected in the December 2022 bills. To make up for it, the difference will be added to the regularly scheduled June 2023 combined Stormwater Utility Fee / Real Estate Tax bill. This means that residential customers will be billed for $92.10 (the new fee of $68.10 plus the one-time addition of $24). (The online bill payment system will reflect this update by mid-April.) Moving forward, residential Stormwater Utility Fees will be $68.10, billed every six months.
The Stormwater Utility Fee funds the state and federally mandated Comprehensive Stormwater Management Program. The Program includes things like maintenance and repair of ditches, stormwater pipe systems, and other drainage structures, water quality and flooding capital improvement projects, investigation and prevention of pollution discharges, and more.
If you have any questions, please call 757-382-CITY (2489) during normal business hours.
Frequently Asked Questions
Why was the rate increased in the first place?
The Stormwater Utility Fee was increased to maintain current levels of services and in response to requests from the community for more improvements to the stormwater system. With more than 2,700 miles of open ditch, nearly 1,100 miles of underground pipe, and nearly 37,000 drainage structures throughout the City, the previous rate could not properly fund these projects. Additionally, the Stormwater Utility Fee has not changed since 2010 so the increase will help meet current economic demands.
What happened that caused the December 2022 bill to be incorrect?
Technical limitations in the City’s billing system caused a delay in the programming of the new rates. Because this is the first rate increase since 2010, we were unaware that these limitations existed. Staff was able to troubleshoot the issue and the new rate is now active in the system (by mid-April). Complete modernization of the City’s billing system is currently underway as part of a planned Capital Improvement Project. This substantial project is scheduled to be complete in 2025.
Why can’t you just start the rate increase on January 1, 2023 and forget about what wasn’t collected?
Chesapeake City Council approved the rate increase to start on July 1, 2022. By not starting the increase on that date, the Comprehensive Stormwater Management Program would have a $4.4 million deficit, leading to significant delays or cancellations of critical stormwater projects.
Will I receive multiple bills?
No, you will only receive one bill, as normal for June.
When will the online bill payment system be updated?
These changes will be reflected in the online bill payment system by mid-April.
What if I already paid my June 2023 bill using the online payment system?
If you already paid your June 2023 bill using the online payment system, this will be reflected in your account. For example, residential customers who have already paid $68.10 towards the June 2023 bill using the online payment system, will only need to pay $24 by June 5, 2023. Your online payment account and your paper bill will reflect this.
What will my bill be after the June 2023 bill?
The next Stormwater Utility Fee will be due in December 2023 and will be $68.10 for residential properties.
How does this affect commercial/industrial customers?
Commercial and industrial property owners will also be billed in June 2023 to include the unpaid difference from December 2022 plus the approved increase at the appropriate rate for each individual property. If you own a commercial/industrial property, please call Public Works Stormwater for more information (757-382-3330).
What if I can’t afford to pay my bill?
While there aren’t any hardship programs specific to stormwater bills, we encourage anyone having trouble paying their bills to reach out to the Chesapeake Treasurer’s office to discuss options.
What if I didn’t own my property for the entire period from July 1 – December 31, 2022?
If you purchased your property between July 1 and December 31 of 2022, please contact the Division of Stormwater Management at 757-382-3330.
Will this increase also affect my water bill?
Stormwater and drinking water are two separate things. The Stormwater Utility Fee has no impact on your water and sewer bill. For information on your water and sewer bill, contact Public Utilities at CityOfChesapeake.net/Water.
What is stormwater and why am I paying for it?
The Stormwater Utility Fee funds the state and federally mandated Comprehensive Stormwater Management Program (CSMP). This includes things like the maintenance and repair of public ditches, stormwater pipe systems, and other drainage structures, water quality and flooding capital improvement projects, investigation and prevention of pollution discharges, and more.
Out in the Field
- Pipe and Ditch Maintenance
- Cave-in Repairs
- Pollution in Stormwater Runoff
- Stormwater Lakes and Ponds
- Detection of Illicit Discharges
- Street Sweeping
In the Community
- Public Education
- Stormwater Utility Fee
- Best Management Practice (BMPs)
- Preventing Stormwater Pollution
- Soil Disposal Program
- The Chesapeake Stormwater Committee
- Stormwater Roadside Ditch Maintenance Brochure (PDF)
- "After the Storm" Brochure (PDF) (Information on Preventing Stormwater Pollution)
- Dismal Swamp Canal Study (Stormwater quantity and quality feasibility study)
- Watershed Studies, Reports and Maps
If you see a company or citizen dumping an illicit discharge down a catch basin, in a ditch, etc. please report it by calling 757-382-CITY (2489). Provide as much information as possible (license plate of car, what they appear to be dumping, etc.) and a stormwater employee will be dispatched to investigate the situation.
Chesapeake Stormwater Operations manages the City's vast network of stormwater ditches, pipes and structures. If you experience problems with the system that is resulting in flooding, call the Customer Contact Center at 757-382-2489 to report the problem as soon as possible! Most requests for assistance are investigated within 14 working days.