The Impact of Different Stormwater Fee Types: A Case Study of Two Municipalities in Virginia

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Virginia Tech


Stormwater user fees (SUFs) are an increasingly popular method of generating revenue for municipalities responsible for implementing complex stormwater regulations through the NPDES permit program. These fees can be created in a multitude of ways, including a flat fee for each parcel, charging by parcel area, charging based on a runoff factor, and many others. As a case study, eight SUFs were applied to the City of Roanoke and the Town of Blacksburg, both in Virginia, to determine the effect each SUF has on how land use type impacts the revenue composition. The City of Roanoke is larger and includes more industrial areas, but less multifamily impervious areas than Blacksburg, which translates differently in the SUFs. Residential parcels comprise the highest percentage of the revenue in all eight SUFs in Blacksburg and four in Roanoke. Open space parcels don't contain much impervious area yet account for up to 27% of the revenue. Industrial parcels comprise more of the revenue in Roanoke, averaging 11.1% compared to 4.6% in Blacksburg. A detailed digitized land cover dataset was compared to Blacksburg's land cover dataset, which resulted in maximum difference of $0.02 per parcel for residential parcel fees. Exemptions of large parcels in Roanoke, like the railroad and airport, if enacted would result in a maximum increase in fees of 15% and a shift of $7,491 of the monthly revenue to the residential parcels.



stormwater, stormwater management program, stormwater utility, stormwater user fee