Storm Water Services
The City’s Storm Water Utility is responsible for installing, maintaining, upgrading and managing all of the Storm Water Management and Conveyance facilities and infrastructure within the City. These services include regular drainage system maintenance; street sweeping; removal of sediment and debris from inlets and channels; maintenance of earthen channels, inlets, piping, headwalls, flumes, concrete channels, culverts, manholes, drainage ditches and stream maintenance; catch basin replacement; storm sewer replacement; installing and maintaining erosion control protection devices; and installing drop structures. The City is also tasked with managing the implementation of the City’s approved Storm Water Management Plan and Best Management Practices as required by Federal and State Regulations. A copy of the City’s approved Storm Water Management Plan is available for review at the following link.
Storm Water Management Plan
Storm Water Utility staff also manage Floodplain Ordinances to assist in protecting properties from flooding and manage capital programs that help protect our streams and creeks from erosion and pollution as mandated by other State and Federal programs related to Floodplain Management, Storm Water Management, Water Quality and Pollution Prevention. Funding is not provided by Federal or State agencies for these programs. The Storm Water Utility also performs many other important management functions including reviewing proposed storm water systems designed into new development projects within the city, managing Storm Water Capital Improvement Projects, and managing programs to assist in storm water quality, basin master planning, and regional detention. Operational sections of the Storm Water Utility are located in the Public Works Department and Engineering Department.
Storm Water Pollution Prevention
In accordance with the approved Storm Water Management Plan and EPA and TCEQ requirements, the City adopted an ordinance that will help improve storm water quality and reduce storm water pollution in our City. This ordinance addresses Storm Water Illicit Discharge and Detection, Post Construction Storm Water Quality, and Erosion Control during construction. A draft of this ordinance was developed in FY 2009 and consolidated into a final draft for public review and comment in FY 2010. The ordinance for The Colony may be viewed on the City’s website at the link below. .
Storm Water Pollution Prevention Ordinance
The Colony implementing the new ordinance in accordance with the effective date of August 1, 2011
Benefit to Residents and Businesses
Development and associated construction activities result in the disturbance of soils, removal of natural vegetation and are large contributors to storm water pollution. These activities can lead to erosion problems, and if appropriate preventative measures are not undertaken, the soils can be washed into storm drainage systems and into nearby lakes and streams during rainfall events. This can cause blockage and pollution in our lakes, creeks and streams. Erosion can also occur in the stream channels and large sections of soil can be washed away and deposited downstream during rain events. Another factor associated with development is the conversion of natural land to large areas of paved, impervious surfaces such as streets, buildings, rooftops and parking lots which prevents natural infiltration into native soils and creates even larger volumes of storm water that must be handled by the City’s storm water systems. By converting land from an undisturbed condition to a developed state, the rainwater that previously soaked into the ground now becomes urban runoff which must be effectively managed by the City.
How Much Does This Cost
The Storm Water Utility was developed to provide a more accurate way of charging customers for Storm Water Management services. The Storm Water Utility Fee divides storm water fees fairly among owners of developed and undeveloped properties. That way, each property owner only pays for the estimated storm water demand that each property would place on the City’s systems. The fund is used for Capital Improvement Projects that help improve the overall storm water drainage system. The fund is also used for the operation, maintenance and administration of the utility. All the residents of The Colony benefit from the services provided by the fund.
The fees established are based on the calculation of the inventory of lots and tracts within the service area, having taken into consideration the size and impervious area on the benefited property. Residential properties are charged a set fixed fee. Commercial properties are charged based on the total impervious area added by their development. They are charged based on the number of Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) as determined by the square footage of impervious area added to their property. One ERU is equal to the storm water discharge from 3,406 square feet of impervious area. The City has adopted the following rates:
- Each Residential single-family unit, town home, duplex, or manufactured home - $ 2.50 per utility account
- Each multifamily or nonresidential unit - $ 2.50 per ERU
- 1ERU = 3,406 square feet of Impervious Area
Freese and Nichols performed an independent study to compare how Storm Water Utility fees vary in different cities in Texas. They have allowed the City of The Colony to use the results of their study to demonstrate how our Storm Water Utility fees compare in relation to other cities in Texas. Comparisons to various Texas cities are provided in the first chart below and comparisons to other small cities located in the Dallas/Ft. Worth Metroplex are provided in the second chart below for general informational purposes only.
Click on image to enlarge
Click on image to enlarge
How Does the City Bill Residents and Businesses for Storm Water Utility Fees
For property owners with water and wastewater accounts, the Storm Water Utility Fee is billed monthly on your utility bill. You will notice a separate fee clearly identifying the Storm Water Utility Fee as an additional line item on your utility bill.
Storm Water Utility Advantages
- Charges are based on runoff rather than property value as is the case with general taxes.
- All types of developed property pay their appropriate share.
- Self Financing – does not compete with other governmental sources for general revenues.
- Provides consistent funding and is easily projected.
- Revenues are kept in separate, dedicated funds.
3. Simple and Flexible:
- Similar to water and wastewater charges.
- Adaptable to existing billing systems.
- Similar utilities are in use around the State of Texas.
- Storm water management costs are paid based on system usage instead of through property taxes.
For questions concerning the storm water utility development process, please contact the Engineering Department at 972-624-3195.