Water Resources: Frequently Asked Questions
- What is the Storm Water Utility Fee?
- Why does the City have two different levels/zones of the Storm Water Utility Fee?
Q: What is the Storm Water Utility Fee?
A: The Storm Water Utility Fee is charged to cover the operation and maintenance costs of the storm drains and creek systems within the City. The drainage and flood control system operated and maintained by the City of Elk Grove consists of 66 miles of open channels, 400 miles of drainage pipes, six stormwater pump stations, over 8 miles of levees, and 20 flood control water quality detention basins.
Where are these funds being spent?
The fee covers the operation and maintenance of the storm drainage system in the City. Activities include:
- Pipeline, channel and creek clearing and repairing
- Detention basin and pump station maintenance, rehabilitation and replacement
- Response to drainage and flooding problems during storms
- Complying with state and federal permitting requirements
- Engineering and Planning
What the fee does NOT cover:
- Construction of facilities required by new development
- Maintenance of privately-owned drainage facilities
When is the fee applied?
The fee is triggered when building permits for new construction are issued by the City.
Are there any exemptions?
Yes. It will not be charged to existing rural and estate homeowners until new development on those lands occur. Single family zoned parcels do not qualify for exemption. If you wish to apply for an exemption based on your agricultural zoning, public exemption, or non-developed property, you may write a letter with your address, name, and APN number to the City Manager, Laura Gill. Your request will be reviewed and a determination letter sent.
What if I don’t have gutters or drains or if I live on a private street?
Street gutters and roadside drainage ditches are not normally maintained using Storm Water Utility funds. These facilities are considered to be part of the street itself and, if publicly-owned, are maintained using taxes and fees designated for public roads. Whether on a public or private road, every improved parcel of land creates a run-off of storm water that eventually reaches City-maintained pipelines and channels. Storm Water Utility funds are used to maintain the larger main drain lines and channels which benefit everyone in the City.
Q: Why does the City have two different levels/zones of the Storm Water Utility Fee?
A: Health and safety regulations require that cities and counties maintain flood control facilities. At incorporation, the City inherited a system and a fee from Sacramento County (Zone 1). In the newly developing areas (Zone 2) the City established new fees to ensure proper maintenance of new facilities.