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Stormwater

Stormwater includes runoff from rain and snowmelt that flows over the ground and into the stormwater system or directly into waterways. 

In undeveloped areas the flow of water is slowed by vegetation, allowing much of the water to seep into the ground.  The flow from impervious areas such as paving, roads, parking lots and buildings, does not soak into the ground, resulting in a higher quantity and faster flow of runoff.  Stormwater runoff picks up pollutants such as oil, sediment, chemicals, and lawn fertilizers and carries them untreated into the local waterways.  Proper management of the stormwater system is necessary to reduce threats to public health and safety, localized flooding and associated property damage, erosion, and water quality degradation. 

Stormwater Property Definitions

Residential Properties will be billed a flat rate per month.  A Residential Property is defined as having less than three residential units on one tax parcel (i.e. a single-family home or duplex).  An apartment building with 3 or more units is considered a Non-residential Property for the purposes of stormwater billing.

Non-residential Properties will be billed based on an equivalent residential unit (ERU).  The ERU is the amount of impervious surface a parcel has in relation to the average residential property, calculated as 2,711 square feet for our system.  A non-residential property is defined as a property that does not meet the definition of a residential property.  Examples of non-residential properties include but are not limited to: apartment buildings, commercial businesses, non-profit organizations, and industrial properties.

  • For rates please refer to the WSA’s Schedule of Rates located here https://www.wmwa-wsa.org/wsa-schedule-rates.
  • For examples of rate calculations please refer to the Stormwater Program Manual.
  • For Property Classification and ERU Determination please refer to the Stormwater Charge Map.

What is the Stormwater System?

The Stormwater System includes Stormwater pipes, drains, curbs, inlets, manholes, ditches, channels, outfalls, BMPs (e.g. basins, detention ponds, and infiltration and filtration facilities), and other infrastructure to collect, convey, detain, infiltrate, treat and manage Stormwater in the City of Williamsport, excluding facilities on private property. A properly functioning stormwater system helps keep stormwater from entering the sanitary sewer system where it overwhelms the treatment plants and adds unnecessary costs. In addition, proper management of the stormwater system is necessary to reduce threats to public health and safety, localized flooding and associated property damage, erosion, and water quality degradation.   

How to Fund the Stormwater Program?

To effectively fund the Stormwater Program, the WSA assesses a Stormwater Charge on each developed property in the City of Williamsport based on the amount of impervious surface area on a property.  This method fairly distributes the costs of the stormwater services across all properties based on the impact stormwater runoff from those properties has on the system, as well as the benefits received from the stormwater system and the program.