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The original item was published from 9/4/2020 9:47:56 AM to 12/5/2020 12:00:04 AM.

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Posted on: September 4, 2020

[ARCHIVED] Updated Stormwater Utility Rates Effective Oct. 1

Photo of umbrella in rain

In an effort to establish a financial framework for a more equitable and sustainable customer rate structure, the City of San Marcos is introducing an updated stormwater utility fee structure effective October 1, 2020, pending Council approval during the FY21 budget process.

The stormwater utility fee is a funding source for drainage improvement projects and operation/maintenance for pipes, channels, stormwater detention, and water quality facilities. The goal of drainage projects is to reduce flooding, improve water quality, and maintain regulatory compliance.

“The stormwater utility was implemented in 1999 with an original fee structure based on lot size or land use type,” said Laurie Moyer, Director of Engineering and Capital Improvements. “The new system, which is widely used across Texas drainage utilities, determines the rate more accurately by calculating it based on impervious surface coverage, rather than property size.”

Impervious surfaces such as rooftops, parking areas, driveways, compacted surfaces and private walkways increase the volume and flow rate of stormwater runoff. As a result, the amount of impervious surface on each benefitted property is proportional to its use of the City’s drainage infrastructure system.

“Our stormwater infrastructure is so important in San Marcos due to our high probability for flooding,” said Moyer. “While many stormwater utility customers will experience a monthly fee change with the transition to the new structure, the average customer will see a  seventy-nine cent change per month.”

Aerial photography has been used to determine the amount of impervious surface on each land parcel in the City, and a fee will be assigned based on impervious surface coverage as well as residential or nonresidential (commercial, retail, multifamily, etc.) status. A Stormwater Utility Fee Lookup tool was developed to assist property owners with determining their new Stormwater Utility fee, available here:

For additional stormwater utility rate information or to submit questions regarding the new stormwater utility fee, visit the Stormwater Utility Fee page, contact the Engineering and Capital Improvements Department at (512) 393-8130 or email For media inquiries, contact


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