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Cities pay for rain ?

June 10, 2015

At first it seems foolish, “pay for rainwater” ?
I am very serious, it concerns underground infrastructure.
Someone must pay for the water to flow – somewhere.
If the pipes are used more, they should pay more, right ?
More flow, more usage, more payments of a greater amount ?

Impervious surfaces such as rooftops, paved driveways, patios,
and parking lots, are major contributors to rainwater runoff.
Should you pay more because you have a large house, small lawn ?

Oakland County has combined sewer systems

Rain Combined Sewer Systems

Rain Combined Sewer Systems

Rain Infiltration Sewer Pipe

Rain Infiltration Sewer Pipe

A fair way to distribute the cost of maintaining storm sewers
and protecting area waterways is based on a property’s
contribution of rainwater to the sewer system.
Owners of large office buildings, shopping centers and
parking lots will be charged more than owners
of modest residential dwellings.

Now we all know some local areas get a LOT more rain
than others and it is quite scattered about
The heat island effect increase the amount of rain
– over and downwind – of major cities.

What about those area that are almost ALL concrete,
blacktop, parking lots, massive industrial manufacturing, etc.
They practically force rainwater into the drains
-versus a city with huge parks, large green spaces.
A mere 1 inch rainfall on 1000 sq ft = 623 gallons of water

A 2001 report from the Southeast Michigan Council
of Governments found that between $14 billion
and $26 billion was needed by 2030 to maintain
and improve Southeast Michigan’s sewer infrastructure.

Will the GLWA actually measure, analyze, and base rates
upon the flow of water in the underground pipes ?
I guess we’ll have to wait and see.

Fair pricing and rate structure is not clean cut
and many, many factors play important roles in
financing the maintenance and improvement of a system.


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