NEO Sewer District Charging Stormwater Fees

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Many people in Northeast Ohio are seeing extra fees pop up on their sewer bills.   Customers of the Northeast Regional Sewer District will have to pay an average $5 dollars a month for stormwater fees.  Ideastream’s Mark Urycki explains…


The sewer district began a stormwater fee three years ago but 8 towns in Cuyahoga County went to court arguing it was a tax.   The state supreme court backed the sewer district last year and customers began seeing the fees in July.  Its Deputy Director of Watershed programs, Kyle Dreyfuss-Wells, one thousand sewer districts around the country assess such a fee, because they have to deal with runoff from driveways, roofs, patios and roadways

 “And those surfaces create runoff and that runoff is what causes the flooding problems and erosion problemsand water quality problems we have in the region.  So we’re not treating stormwater, we’re managing stormwater. 

An average homeowner will pay about $5 a month in fees.  It all depends on the square footage of hard surface area on your property.   Rachell Webb of the District says they measure your lot from aerial photographs.

 “And then we have people who hand-digitize to measure the square footage of the impervious area.  So there is someone who is- through aerial photography- looking at the property, looking at the home and the impervious area and basically outlining that impervious area and that comes up with an area measurement.” 

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You can get a 25% credit or more on your bill by doing things like adding rain barrels or rain gardens that capture that runoff.  Another way is with what she calls a “vegetated filter strip.”

“Which is a really fancy way of saying: disconnecting your downspout and letting it run across at least 50 feet of garden area or grass area on your property.  You make sure its directed away from your property neighbor, make sure its directed away from your foundation and just let that water run across your yard. And that can get you a 25% credit for managing 50% of your roof area. “

The district expects the fees to bring in about $41 million dollars a year.   One fourth of the funding will be available to local communities for small flood and erosion projects.  

District officials are holding public workshops next month to explain the process:

Cuyahoga Heights:               Saturday, September 17, 2016


9 a.m. – 4 p.m.
Sewer District’s Annual Open House
4747 East 49th Street, Cuyahoga Heights

Mayfield Village:                  Thursday, September 22, 2016
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Mayfield Village Civic Center
6622 Wilson Mills Road, Mayfield Village

Richfield Village:                  Thursday, September 29, 2016
5:30 – 7:30 p.m.
Richfield Village Hall
4410 West Streetsboro Street (S.R. 303), Richfield Village

Additional information about the Regional Stormwater Management Program is available at

Customer Service:  216.881.8247 or

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