Stormwater Runoff

Unless you have had a problem or you work in the industry that deals with Stormwater runoff, most people do not ever think twice about it. However, it is an important part of the city’s management plan.

When it rains, all the water has to go somewhere. In most cases one of two things happens – the water either soaks into the ground or is managed through stormwater runoff systems. These runoff systems allow developed areas to drain properly and usually direct through the stormwater into the city’s sewer. In general, stormwater runoff that is located within the city’s right-of-ways and on city property is the responsibility of the city. Beyond those areas, the responsibility is the private landowner.

Stormwater runoff has lots of potential to cause damage. Types of damages caused by stormwater runoff include erosion, flooding, polluting our sources of water and property damage.

Proper stormwater management is important because unlike sewer water it is not purified returning to streams. Instead systems are in place to remove debris, silt and nutrients to protect our waterways. As Raleigh becomes more densely populated, the need for stormwater management increases.

Currently the city has 30 stormwater projects in works with another 15 already approved by the City Council. In addition, we have 33 on a waitlist.

Due to these risks, the City (like the majority of all urban cities) has a nominal stormwater utility fee. This fee is used to manage the city’s runoff, stormwater sewer system, and offer grants and assistance to private property owners. This fee was created 12 years ago. The council recently approved a fee increase that would help in funding future projects and would be the first increase since the creation of the fee.

Through a collaborative effort between Raleigh’s Stormwater Management Advisory Commission and Stormwater staff in alignment with the City’s Strategic Plan adopted by City Council in 2015, Raleigh recently developed a unique Integrated Stormwater Capital Improvement Projects Prioritization Model and Adaptive Implementation Plan. This new model and plan will become the primary means by which potential stormwater system improvement needs and projects across the city are identified, evaluated, prioritized, and recommended for implementation.

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