Storm water runoff includes rainwater and snowmelt that flows across the land and enters a network of storm water infrastructure in Saskatoon, including: pipes, culverts, ditches, outfalls, manholes, and catch basins.
Storm water is collected via storm drains, usually located at the curbs of roads, and then moved via a piping system to large mainline pipes. Eventually the storm water flows into the South Saskatchewan River.
This storm water system is a vital part of the City's infrastructure. Managing storm water protects the health and safety of the public and the environment by mitigating flooding and erosion, and preventing pollutants from reaching our waterways.
Storm Water Utility
Saskatoon’s Storm Water Utility funds vital storm water infrastructure and flood protection services. In 2011, Saskatoon City Council approved changes to the Storm Water Utility rates to make them proportional to the storm water generated based on property size and surface type.
Rate Structure & Billing
The unit of measure for Saskatoon’s Storm Water Management Charge is an Equivalent Runoff Unit (ERU), which is used by many municipalities for storm water utility billing. One ERU represents 265.3 m2 of impervious surface such as roofs, driveways, and sidewalks. One ERU is valued at $4.40 per month or $52.80 per year.
Single-family residential property owners pay one ERU regardless of property size.
Multiple owners of a property (e.g. a multi-owner condominium complex) are charged for the proportion of runoff associated with the area (e.g. streets, sidewalks, etc.) For example, a complex that has five ERUs but only four water meters is charged for five ERUs/month divided by four, and the monthly bill is split among the property's water service customers.
Residential properties are billed monthly.
Commercial & Industrial Properties
Commercial and Industrial properties are charged accordign to the number of ERUs that are assigned to their property, with a minimum charge of two ERUs.
To lessen the impact of the rate structure on property owners with higher ERU numbers, the storm water utility has been phased in over a seven year period beginning in 2012, with full implementation by January 1, 2018. With the cap system, bills will not exceed 100 ERUs.
The rate cap allows for the following maximum charges:
- 2012: 10 ERUs ($44 per month, $528 per year)
- 2013: 25 ERUs ($110 per month, $1320 per year)
- 2014: 40 ERUs ($176 per month, $2112 per year)
- 2015: 55 ERUs ($242 per month, $2904 per year)
- 2016: 70 ERUs ($308 per month, $3696 per year)
- 2017: 85 ERUs ($374 per month, $4488 per year)
- 2018: 100 ERUs ($440 per month, $5280 per year)
Commercial and industrial property owners receive an annual bill for storm water management in mid-year.
Reduce Your Storm Utility Rate
Commercial and industrial property owners can reduce their Storm Water Utility bill by making improvements to their properties such as private storage ponds, green roofs, permeable paving, rain gardens, or other “soft” landscaping that reduces runoff.
Owners are ‘credited’ for the equivalent amount of runoff that would be diverted during a storm event, due to the improvement. In addition to decreasing the amount of storm water that collects on properties, many of these improvements also provide environmental benefits.
Property owners may request a recalculation of their ERU value by contacting email@example.com. An investigation is then conducted by an engineering technician to ensure the estimated amount is accurate. Credit will be given for improvements the property owner makes to decrease the hard surface area.