City of Burlington, Vermont

City of Burlington, Vermont

Water Quality, Main Breaks & Billing: 863-4501/EMAIL

Snow Ban Line: 658-SNOW

DPW Customer Service: 863-9094/EMAIL

Billing

Current Stormwater Rates

Flat Fee Customers:

  • Single Family: $6.60/month
  • Duplex: $6.56/month
  • Triplex: $7.56/month

Directly Assessed Customers:

  • Properties other than single family, duplex and triplex: $2.47 x ISU/month

1 ISU = 1,000 sq.ft. impervious

How is impervious measured for directly assessed properties?

Impervious is currently calculated by the City for each directly assessed property using data that was based on an automated impervious recognition process applied to 2004 data.   Small scale updates have been completed when a property has made substantial improvements, or when an impervious review fee has been requested.  The City is working to 1) do a city wide update of the impervious measurements using updated data (2012/2013) and a more manual measurement process to ensure maximum accuracy and 2) provide on-line mapping so that customers may directly examine the impervious assessements.   Once the update is complete, customers with significant increases in their stormwater bill due to updated impervious measurements will be notified directly.

Until that time, customers may contact the Water Billing office (863-4501) to request a map of their property with the impervious assessment. Please note that this manual review of the current impervious assessment may result in your impervious measurement changing (either up or down) and this new measurement will be used to update the customers current ISU assessment and could result in a change to your monthly fee.

Stormwater Credits

Directly Assessed Customers who have implemented stormwater management practices on their property are eligible to apply for up to 50% credit on their stormwater bill.  Please note, at this time, you will need a to hire a professional engineer or stormwater designer to apply for credits. See Credit Manual.

Stormwater Fee History

In 2008, as the result of increasing regulatory obligations and the City’s desire for a more sustainable approach towards managing stormwater infrastructure and improving water quality outcomes in Burlington, the City Council voted to establish a dedicated Stormwater Program.  In order to fund the operation of the program, a stormwater user fee structure and initial user fee rate were adopted by the City Council as part of the program creation and were phased in beginning in 2009. 

Since that time, all properties in Burlington with impervious surface (paved and unpaved driveways and walkways and rooftops) have paid a stormwater user fee on their water/wastewater bills. Single family, duplex and triplex homes pay a “flat fee” based on the average amount of impervious associated with these parcel types. Other types of properties are assessed a fee based on the amount of impervious on the parcel. Non-residential properties are eligible to apply for up to 50% credit on their stormwater bill if they can document that they have implemented stormwater management practices on their property. (See Stormwater Credits at the bottom of the page).

The City of Burlington is only one of two municipalities in Vermont (the other being South Burlington) that have taken this pro-active approach towards sustainably funding this important piece of our water resource infrastructure.  There are many communities across the nation, however, that have implemented this method of charging properties for their impervious surface to directly fund stormwater efforts in their communities.

The original 2009 rates served to launch the program and sustain it for the first 4 years.  In the recent years, the program documented the need for additional funds to specifically address:

  • Hire of an additional staff person to assist in infrastructure assessment, project review and Chapter 26 compliance
  • Rehabilitation of existing infrastructure
  • Need for matching funds for grants to further advance water quality improvements
  • Additional increases in regulatory obligations (MS-4 permit obligations, Stormwater Impaired Watershed Restoration Plans)
  • Comprehensive planning to identify stormwater retrofit opportunities

As such, the City Council voted in June 2013 to increase the stormwater user fee rate effective January 1, 2014 (reflected in February 2014 bills).

As of 2015, while the Stormwater Program is still working towards the completion of a comprehensive capital plan which will predict the long term need for capital funding, there are known deficiencies in the system which need to begin being addressed.  As such, the City Council voted in June 2015 to increase the stormwater user fee to begin funding repair of these deficiencies (rates are effective for July 1, 2015 with changes reflected in August 2015 bills).