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Stormwater Utility

2022 Update

The Adopted FY222 Budget includes $3.57 million in investment in the stormwater management system, including $2.3 million for stormwater capital projects and $1.8 million for annual maintenance activities.  Revenues of $5.48 million from the stormwater utility fee are projected for 2022 for stormwater expenses.
The FY22 budget calls for the stormwater utility fee to increase to $14.65 per Equivalent Runoff Unit (ERU).

Related Documents


For questions about the Stormwater Utility: 

Stormwater Utility Fee 

In January 2013, the Village implemented a monthly stormwater fee, billed to all property owners in Downers Grove.

[The fee does not apply to unincorporated Downers Grove parcels or tax-exempt organizations.]

Fee Calculation 

An impervious area is any area within a parcel which prevents or significantly impedes the infiltration of stormwater into the soil. Examples of impervious surfaces include:

  • Parking lots
  • Roofs
  • Driveways
  • Patios
  • Decks
  • Swimming pools
  • Gravel and stone areas

The stormwater fee is based on the total amount (in square footage) of impervious area on each parcel, including all of the surfaces listed above. 

Fees are expressed in Equivalent Runoff Units (ERU). One ERU is equal to 3,300 square feet of impervious area, which is the average for a single family residential property in the Village.

Factors Affecting  Stormwater Rates

Stormwater rates align with the recommendations of the 2012 Stormwater Study, which created the plan for the implementation of the Stormwater Utility in 2013. The stormwater fee covers the cost of future capital projects, debt service related to those projects, as well as operational and maintenance costs. These stormwater management costs are now fully shifted away from the property tax levy. 

1. SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL parcels are charged based on a tiered system:

Table 2: Stormwater utility residential tiers.
Single Family Residential 2021 Monthly Fee

2022 Monthly Fee

Tier 1 (1-2,500 s. f. of impervious area) = .75 ERU $10.11  $10.99  
Tier 2 (2,501 - 4,000 s.f. of impervious area) = 1 ERU $13.48  $14.65
Tier 3 (4,001- 7,000 s.f. of impervious area) = 1.5 ERU $20.22  $21.98

2. NON-SINGLE FAMILY RESIDENTIAL parcels and RESIDENTIAL PARCELS with greater than 7,000 s.f. of impervious area are charged based on the actual amount of impervious area, measured in ERUs, rounded to the next whole ERU. 

Table 3: Stormwater utility non-residential tier.
Non-Single Family Residential  2021 Monthly Fee

2022 Monthly Fee

Per ERU (3,300 s.f.) $13.48 $14.65

3.  VACANT PARCELS are charged .3 ERU.

Table 4: Stormwater utility vacant parcel tier.
Vacant (unimproved) Parcels 2021 Monthly Fee

2022 Monthly Fee

0.3 ERU $4.04 $4.395

Billing and Payment

The monthly stormwater fee appears on the same bi-monthly Utility Bill.  Property owners and tenants are jointly responsible for paying the bills.

Utility bill payments will be applied toward the stormwater utility fee first, then to any water charges.

Outstanding utility bill balances that remain unpaid for 45 days may result in the shut-off of water service. The Village may also place a lien against the property.

Credits and Incentives

Opportunities exist for customers to reduce their stormwater fees by applying for an INCENTIVE or CREDIT.


An incentive is a one-time reduction in the stormwater utility fee, applied to a customer's account balance. It is offered to assist property owners with the cost of materials, construction and installation of qualifying stormwater facilities.

Incentives are available for qualifying rain barrels, rain gardens, permeable pavers and other projects that reduce the total volume or peak volume of stormwater, and/or improve the quality of stormwater leaving a parcel. Examples include green roofs, cisterns and Best Management Practices outlined in the Village Stormwater Credit and Incentive Manual.

Incentive amounts are as follows:

Table 5: Stormwater utility incentives.
Type Amount
Rain Barrel $25 per property
Rain Garden $300 per property
Permeable Pavers $300 per property
Other Projects Up to $250 per property


A CREDIT is an ongoing reduction in the amount of stormwater fees assessed to a parcel in recognition of on site systems, facilities, or other actions taken to reduce the impact of stormwater runoff, in compliance with the Village Stormwater Credit and Incentive Manual. 

There are six types of credits available, subject to the maximum levels shown.

Table 6: Stormwater utility credits.
Control Activity Stormwater Fee Credit
Site Run-off Rate Reduction
(detention basin)
Up to 20%
Volume Reduction
(retention basin, permeable pavement,
cisterns, etc.)
Up to 20%
Water Quality
(Best Management Practices- BMPs)
Up to 10%
Direct Discharge
(outside and downstream of the Village's
stormwater system)
Up to 50%
Education Up to 100%
Partnership (provide land/facilities to
Village to manage stormwater)
Up to 100%


Decisions affecting stormwater fees including the classification of the parcel, the amount of impervious area, the calculation of the stormwater utility fee, and granting of credits and incentives will be made by the Village's stormwater administrator.

These decisions may be appealed by submitting a written request to the Village Manager. Parcel owners may further appeal the decision of the Village Manager by submitting an application to the Stormwater & Floodplain Oversight Committee. Decisions by the Stormwater & Floodplain Oversight Committee are final.

Background/Stormwater Utility Model

Stormwater originates from rain or melting snow, or other activities involving outdoor water use such as car washing or hosing off the driveway or sidewalk. Water that does not soak into the ground becomes run-off. Every property generates run-off and benefits from the Village infrastructure system that manages stormwater.

The utility model represents an equitable method to collect revenue from those properties that place a demand on the system. Revenue is generated by charging all property owners a monthly stormwater fee, based on the property's impact to the stormwater system. 

There are multiple benefits to implementing a fee based system:

  • All properties in the Village share in the cost of operating and maintaining the stormwater system.
  • Fees provide a predictable and sustainable funding source.
  • A heightened sense of awareness of the stormwater management system is created.
  • Property owners are encouraged to reduce the mount of run-off from their property by installing rain barrels, rain gardens and detention basins, and may be eligible for a credit to their stormwater fee.

Revenues generated by the fee will be allocated to the maintenance and operating costs of the stormwater infrastructure system, which consists of:

  • Approximately 7,000 drainage structures
  • 315 stormwater detention facilities
  • 130 miles of storm sewer pipes
  • 12 miles of streams
  • 140 miles of roadway ditches
  • 47,000 feet of culverts. 

Prior to the Stormwater Utility, operating costs for the stormwater system were funded primarily through property taxes. Shifting the source of funding to a utility/fee based system will result in a reduction in the property tax levy by approximately $2.48 million, beginning with the 2012 levy (collected in 2013).  

Stormwater Utility Application Forms

The Storwater Utility forms have become fillable PDFs to help minimize errors when submitting your application. Please read the below instructions before filling out forms.

  1. Download the form(s) needed for your property to your workstation. 
  2. Fill out the form(s) using a PDF reader and save them locally on your workstation.  
  3. Create a new email to with your property address in the SUBJECT line.
  4. Attach the form(s) to the email.
  5. Send your email with attached PDF(s).
  6. A stormwater engineer will respond once they have reviewed your application.