Learn More About the Stormwater Utility Bill

The first annual stormwater utility bill has been sent to property owners. Learn more about the new utility below.

What is stormwater?
Stormwater is rain that lands on hard surfaces then flows into the system of drains and pipes. The stormwater system helps reduce flooding by moving excess stormwater away from properties. It also separates some of the oil, metals, sand and soil before it flows into our waterways and ocean.

How are charges determined?
In the past, stormwater fees were collected through your property taxes and were based on a property's assessed value. The new utility is a 'user-pay' system, connecting a property's impact on the stormwater system directly to the bill. It also allows the City to bill properties that use the stormwater system but are exempt from property taxes.

Charges are based on your property type, hard surface area (impervious area), street frontage length, street cleaning frequency, and participation in the Rainwater Rewards program.

Read about which of your property’s characteristics were calculated - and how they were measured - in this infographic [PDF - 86 KB].

Rebates and credits
With the new utility, the City is able to offer financial incentives for managing rainwater more sustainably. Through the Rainwater Rewards program, property owners can introduce rain gardens, cisterns, green roofs, permeable paving and other approved methods for rebates as well as on-going credits to reduce their bill.

This utility is billed separately from water and sewer as it is sent to property owners, who are able to consider these types of property improvements to manage rainwater more sustainably.

Public feedback
The structure of the new utility and the Rainwater Rewards program were both informed by public feedback heard through a number of opportunities in 2013 and 2014. Last year, property owners were sent a letter introducing the stormwater utility and the estimated total of their first bill.

City stormwater budget
This portion of stormwater fees was removed from 2016 property taxes; a small portion will remain on taxes for roads and rights of way. The stormwater utility does not generate new revenue for the City. The City’s stormwater budget remains the same in moving from property taxes to a utility system.

Learn more about the new stormwater utility bill, the Rainwater Rewards program, Victoria's stormwater system, and who to contact for more information at www.victoria.ca/stormwater.