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IMPLEMENTING A STORMWATER UTILITY - THE EDMONTON, CANADA EXPERIENCE

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To deal with future environmental requirements and funding concerns, the City of Edmonton created a Stormwater Utility. A Stormwater Utility collects fees every month from individual property owners and allocates that money to pay for operating and capital costs. Fees are based on usage of the stormwater system.

The rate model is area-based, that uses property area and the intensity of development as the means of proportionately allotting a stormwater fee to each customer. This approach ensures that the fee is fair and equitable to all, reflects a realistic impact of each property on stormwater infrastructure and services, and equates this impact to a charge proportionally appropriate for each property owner.

The customer base for the Land Drainage Utility is all properties with a Sanitary Utility service, plus the addition of all parking lots.

An extensive communications program including public consultation was conducted in mid-2001 to mid-2002, to garner support and advocacy for a land drainage utility proposal. The second phase of the communications program commenced in fall 2002 after the approval of the utility, and was launched to inform internal and external audiences of the new utility and associated fee structure.

The City of Edmonton approved the creation of a Stormwater Utility in July 2002. The first utility bills were sent to customers on the monthly utility bill in January 2003.
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Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: 2003-01-01

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