Storm Water Utility

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In 2004, Bloomington created a “Storm Water Utility” to operate in similar fashion to other utilities, such as an electric company. With it, the City adopted a rate system for storm water that was based on the need created by the individual customer to manage storm water.  Whereas water is metered, the City uses a storm billing method under a principle that storm water fees cannot fairly be based on water consumption. The two have little in common. That need is based on size of a property and the type of construction on the property. 

The City’s Storm Water Utility manages urban storm sewers, detention basins, culverts, ravines, ditches, streams, drainage channels and ponds to control flooding, improve water quality and comply with federal clean-water regulations. Urban storm water management becomes necessary because of construction of materials – buildings, roads, parking lots, etc. – that do not absorb water.

Single-family residential storm sewer fees are based on the size of a property. Other parcels also are billed based on the size. However, for large lots, the City measures the amount of “impervious” material covering land on the property – essentially, structures and paved areas -- rather than estimating. These other parcels include property of governmental agencies, apartments, commercial businesses, industry, not-for-profits and churches. None is exempt; storm management runs under a “utility,” and the billing constitutes a “fee,” not a “tax.” 

Some property owners and developers take it upon themselves to reduce the stress their property creates on the storm water system through structure and land designs. They qualify for bill reductions – credits – based on those designs. 

All parcels, regardless of their location in a watershed, have an impact on our water resources. Pervious surfaces, such as lawns, allow rain to seep into the ground. Impervious surfaces, such as roofs and parking lots, block this absorption, which increases runoff volumes. The City of Bloomington’s storm water management system collects the runoff through a series of gutters, inlets, storm sewers, detention basins, and stream channels. In the older section of the City, the existing sewer systems are mostly “combined” sewers. A combined sewer conveys both domestic sewage and storm water runoff in the same pipe.   

Storm Water Utility Credits
All parcels in the City containing developed land shall be charged storm water service charges, except pedestrian/bicycle trails, and streets and highway right-of-ways owned by a Township, McLean County, the City of Bloomington, or the State of Illinois.

The City understands that some parcels may currently be utilizing an approved method of controlling storm water runoff on portions of their parcel. Therefore, the City of Bloomington’s Engineering Department has created the Bloomington Storm Water Credit Manual.

A reduction in the monthly Storm Water Utility fee may be available to either individuals or groups of individuals provided they own AND maintain a detention facility located on their property or within their subdivision. Detention facilities owned and/or maintained by the City of Bloomington do notqualify for credit.

Parcels shall be eligible to receive a storm water service charge credit based upon the requirements of the Bloomington Storm Water Credit Manual.

Any credit allowed against the storm water service charge is conditioned upon continuing compliance with the Bloomington Storm Water Credit Manual.

Please use the attached form AND follow the guidelines provided in the Storm Water Credit Manual to apply for the Storm Water Credit. If you have specific questions regarding the Storm Water Credit Application, please call 309-434-2225 or email
Storm Water Appeal Application
You have the right to appeal your storm water utility fee. Chapter 37, Section 70 of the Bloomington City Code outlines the criteria for filing the appeal. Please print the Storm Water Fee Appeal Application, fill out the form and submit it to the City of Bloomington Department of Engineering for further review. You may also contact the Storm Water Hotline at (309) 434-2423 or email to discuss your fee.

If you wish to appeal your Storm Water Utility Fee to the Construction Board of Appeals, you will be required to pay an appeal filing fee of $125. Once all appropriate fees and materials have been received, you will be placed on the Construction Board of Appeals agenda. You will receive a written notification of the date and time when the Construction Board of Appeals will hear your appeal.

Failure to submit all appropriate documentation will result in a delay in your appeal. Submitting false or incorrect information may result in the denial of your appeal and forfeiture of all fees paid.

Storm Water Appeal Application