Stormwater Utility


Braselton Stormwater Master Plan
Braselton Stormwater Management Program (SWMP)

What is a stormwater utility?

A SWU is an organizational and financial entity whose purpose is to manage and fund a local government SWMP and to provide stormwater management services to customers. The utility was created after the Town spent years evaluating ways to fund stormwater services. Each customer of the system is charged a fee, and the funds are used exclusively for stormwater management.

 What is a stormwater fee?
A stormwater fee is a charge for stormwater management services provided by the town to all developed residential and non­residential properties in the town. The service fee revenue collected can only be used for the provision of stormwater management services to customers within the town in accordance with the town ordinances.

Who is required to pay a stormwater service fee?
All properties within the town are charged a SWU service fee.

How is a stormwater service fee set?
The service fee is based on the amount of impervious surfaces on a developed parcel. Impervious surface means those areas which prevent or impede the natural infiltration of rainfall and stormwater runoff. Common impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to, rooftops, buildings or structures, driveways, and parking lots. The square footage of impervious surface on a property has a direct correlation to the stormwater runoff discharged from that property. Larger parcels with greater amounts of impervious area will be charged a higher user fee based on the increased runoff amount and the increased demand placed on the town's drainage system.

Isn't this just another tax?
A stormwater service fee is not a tax. Although the fee is an additional cost to customers, it is not a tax because it bears no relation to the taxable value of a property. Customers will be charged a service fee, including "tax exempt" properties (i.e. churches, schools, local government facilities, etc.) all of which generate stormwater runoff from their impervious surfaces.

How are the stormwater utility service fees used by the town?
Service fees will provide additional resources to address drainage system maintenance in a more proactive manner; achieve compliance with federal, state and regional stormwater regulations; maintain water quality standards in local waterways; and fund drainage related construction projects.

How is the amount of impervious area calculated on properties within the town?
The impervious area of nonresidential parcels is calculated using permitting, aerial photography and field verification methods. Aerial photography was also used to establish the average amount of impervious area of residential parcels in the town.

Why are churches and other tax-exempt properties required to pay?
All properties within the town are charged a stormwater service fee regardless of ownership or property tax status. All impervious surfaces (e.g. parking lots and rooftops) contribute stormwater runoff, and therefore, all customers share the cost of the town's SWMP.

Why did the town decide to implement a stormwater service fee charge?
In order to address the SWMP needs of the town, the town determined that additional resources were needed in the program. The Town Council considered the stormwater service fee as opposed to levying a property tax because the town believes that the service fee approach is a more fair and equitable approach than taxation for SWMP services. The fee is not based on the assessed "value" of a property, like a tax, rather it is based on each customer's demand on the system and the services provided - similar to water, sewer, and sanitation.

The fee thus provides a fair, equitable, and stable source of funding for the town to utilize in addressing the numerous stormwater management issues. An additional benefit of a SWU is that all stormwater service fee revenues must be spent on stormwater management and drainage related issues whereas tax revenues are not subject to such restrictions. Although the fee is a new charge to residents and businesses for stormwater services, SWMP costs have always existed and were historically absorbed within the town utility budget. With increasing regulatory requirements come increasing financial costs that cannot be absorbed.

How will the town bill me for SWMP services?
The stormwater service fee will be billed bi-annually as a separate utility bill.

What if I think my stormwater user fee charge bill has been calculated incorrectly?
Fill out and send in a Stormwater Appeal Request Form

 How do I report a stormwater problem (drainage, flooding, pollution, etc.)?
Contact the town to report any drainage problems or pollutant discharges to the town's stormwater drainage system. Telephone 706-654-3915 ext 1027 or

Who do I call if I have additional questions?
Call the town at 706-654-3915 ext 1028 or Stormwater

Braselton Stormwater Master Plan

Braselton Stormwater Management Program

2020 MS4 Annual Report

Impaired Waters Plan Report
2018 Town of Braselton revised SWMP BMP 
2019 Mulberry River Watershed Monitoring Annual Report

Stormwater Utility Ordinance (Adopted 10-14-19)