What are the Stormwater Problems Facing your Community?
Though financial issues are fundamental to a stormwater utility, the first thing to consider is what you envision for your community now and in the future. Are stormwater problems like flooding or polluted runoff undermining that vision? If the problem is ignored, it could damage people, property, or economic growth that is vital to most healthy, thriving communities.
Depending on the community, these impacts are typically grouped into four broad categories:
Chronic local flooding
Recurring property damage and related traffic congestion can permanently devalue property and discourage business investment.
Stormwater runoff can adversely affect public health in many ways, including polluting drinking water supplies. Other threats attributable to stormwater runoff, such as harmful algal blooms, threaten the quality of life that makes communities attractive and can easily imperil local economies built on tourism and seasonal recreation.
Without better stormwater management, your community may be in violation of state regulatory requirements that could lead to fines or enforcement orders.
Antiquated or undersized stormwater infrastructure
Some archaic stormwater systems are over 100 years old, with obvious investment needs, but perhaps a more common problem is those that are simply undersized, rendered ineffective by the gradual impact of additional development, zoning policy in upstream communities, and climate change.
If your community faces any of these problems, it should explore stormwater management solutions and consider creating a stormwater utility.