How residents and businesses pay for sewer and stormwater services in the City will be changing.
Your Bill Today
The Portland Water District bills you on the city's behalf for wastewater services provided by the City. The Wastewater line item actually covers two separate services paid for by sewer rate payers. How much you pay is calculated from how much water you use every month. This money pays to clean the water from your toilets, showers, and sinks, but also to manage runoff from your roof, driveway, patio, and other hard surfaces on your property - runoff that causes pollution of Casco Bay and also causes flooding of private property and streets.
A New Bill
The wastewater line on your water bill item will be split into two separate charges; one to treat the water you use inside your home and another fee for managing runoff from your property. Your wastewater charges from your bill will be split into two separate charges:
- Your sanitary sewer charge will pay for treating the drinking water you use in your home - toilets, showers, sprinkler systems, etc. This fee is based on your water meter.
- Your stormwater service charge will pay for managing the runoff that leaves your property and enters the stormwater drainage system. This charge is calculated from the area of your roof and paved areas on your property.
A More Fair Billing System
The current way we charge for sewer and stormwater services system is flawed. Some users are paying for more than their fair share of runoff management and the investments we are all making through sewer charges into the solutions to the challenges, while others are paying less, and some property owners are don't pay anything at all because they don't have water service.
The proposed system is fairer that the current system for three reasons:
- The proposed system is more fair because it will charge property owners based on the amount runoff from their property. Those who send more runoff into the system will pay a larger share of the maintenance cost of the system.
- The proposed system is more fair in that everybody will pay it, if they are using the service. All property owners, including non-profits, schools and the City itself will pay the stormwater service charge if they have hard surfaces on their property.
- The proposed system is more fair because residential homeowners and business property owners can take steps to reduce the runoff from their property and lower their overall bill.
- Your water fees will not be changed from how they are calculated now;
- The format of your water and sewer bill, you get from the Portland Water District every month will also not change; but the wastewater line item on your bill will no longer include the cost for stormwater services.
- The recommendation is to bill for stormwater services through a separate bill.
Reducing Your Stormwater Service Charge
With the new stormwater service charge, homeowners and businesses will have more opportunity to save money:
- You will save money automatically on your water and sewer bill. How much you will save will depend on how much drinking water you currently use in your home or business.
- You can also save money on your stormwater bill by reducing the area of your property that is covered by pavement. In doing so you can reduce your stormwater bill. You will need to file an appeal using a simple form to have your stormwater service fee recalculated.
- You can also save money by applying for a credit. Homeowners have a number of credit options available to them including all the credit options available to non-residential properties.