A stormwater fee for Pittsburgh is a notable change. Historically, we have funded our stormwater services from wastewater rates based on water usage. The new stormwater fee is based on a property's hard or impervious surfaces. All property owners in Pittsburgh will now contribute a share proportional to the amount of runoff generated by their property.
Establishing a fee based on hard surfaces such as roofs, pavement, and asphalt is a more equitable way to charge for stormwater and fund the stormwater projects and initiatives needed to improve stormwater management in Pittsburgh.
As part of implementing the new stormwater fee, wastewater conveyance rates will decrease since the new stormwater fee will begin to recover the previously included stormwater costs.
Our sewer system was not built to handle increasing amounts of rain due to climate change, and with much of the city paved over, there is nowhere for the water to go. With new stormwater projects under construction and a stormwater strategic plan underway, we are making continuous strides to improve stormwater management in Pittsburgh. However, we cannot continue this work without making certain that our rates reflect the need to pay for the construction of stormwater infrastructure.
Explore the resources below for additional information about the stormwater fee including the stormwater credit program, customer assistance for those having difficulty paying their bill, and a web map where you can search your property.
How much is the Stormwater Fee?
The stormwater fee is based on a property’s hard or impervious surfaces. Impervious surface is the hard surface on a property such as roofs, pavement, and parking areas that do not absorb stormwater. These hard surfaces generate stormwater runoff that collect trash and send polluted water into local waterways. It can also overwhelm our sewer system causing streets to flood, basements to backup, and sewage to overflow into rivers and streams.
In Pittsburgh, the average amount of impervious surface on a property is approximately 1,650 square feet. This is equal to one equivalent residential unit (ERU) of impervious surface, which is the unit of measure for calculating the stormwater fee and is accepted as the industry standard for determining a stormwater fee. The stormwater fee will be applied to all residential and non-residential properties in Pittsburgh in the following way:
|Stormwater Monthly Fee||ERU's||2022||2023|
|Residential Tier 1
(400 to 1,015 sf)
|Residential Tier II
(1,015 to 2,710 sf)
|Residential Tier III
(2,710 sf or greater)
Stormwater Credit Program
When it comes to managing stormwater, there are things we all can do to help! Both residential and non-residential property owners can reduce their stormwater charges while helping to create a city that is protected from increasing amounts of rain.
Our Stormwater Credit Program offers a discount on the monthly stormwater fee. Property owners choosing to manage stormwater on site may reduce their monthly stormwater charge. Installing stormwater management systems such as a rain garden or an underground stormwater system on private property are examples of how a private property owner may earn a credit.
Residential property owners interested in the credit program will need to meet certain requirements and maintain their stormwater systems. By doing so, your stormwater charges will be reduced to the next lower tier level, and those in Residential Tier I will receive a 50% reduction.
Non-residential property owners interested in the credit program may reduce their stormwater charges by up to 60% by meeting the City of Pittsburgh’s 2019 development standards or up to 45% when the 2016 development standards are met.
Stormwater Credit Manual and Application
To learn more, download the Stormwater Credit Manual and complete the online web form application to apply. Electronic submission of the credit application and supporting documentation via the web form application is preferred. If this is not possible, please submit the paper application and supporting documentation to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you have general questions about the credit program, please email email@example.com.
Customer Financial Assistance
Stormwater Fee Finder
The Fee Finder Website was developed by the Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority for customers to see the amount of impervious surface on their property and to better understand their stormwater fee. The impervious surface shown is based on aerial photography. To use the site:
- Launch the Fee Finder Website
- Enter your address in the search bar and press enter
- Click inside the boundaries of your property to view details about its impervious surface and the number of Equivalent Residential Units (ERU’s)
- To determine your fee amount, multiply the number of ERU’s by the stormwater rate of $5.96 and subtract any credits that may apply
Disputing Stormwater Fee
The Pittsburgh Water and Sewer Authority used aerial photography to determine the amount of impervious surface on each property in Pittsburgh. If you have questions about the amount of impervious surface calculated for your property or believe there is a discrepancy, please contact our Customer Service department by calling 412-255-2423, press 5, and be prepared to provide the following information.
- Name, Telephone Number, and Email Address
- Property Address
- Parcel Number (this can be found using the Allegheny County Real Estate Portal or our Fee Finder Database)
Stormwater Dispute Process
- Customer Service will document your dispute and forward it to our Engineering department for review.
- If a credit is approved, it will be posted to your account, and the Customer Service Representative will contact you via email or letter to inform you of the decision.
- If the request is denied, the Customer Service Representative will discuss the decision with you. If you are unsatisfied with our decision, the Customer Service Representative will provide additional steps you can take.