Stormwater Utility

Welcome to the DeKalb County Stormwater Utility Home Page.

This page is your one-stop shop for answers to questions about the Stormwater Utility and the Stormwater Utility Fee. The sidebar menu list topics for which additional information is available.


The Stormwater Utility Program responsibilities include, but not limited to, the development and maintenance of the Stormwater Utility database, determination of Stormwater Utility fees and the administration of the Stormwater Utility fee credits.


What is a Stormwater Utility?

Stormwater Utility (SWU) is a legal entity that provides a method of generating the necessary capital to fund the Stormwater Management Program.  In December 2003, DeKalb County Board of Commissioners adopted a revised ordinance authorizing the formation of a Stormwater Utility (SWU) and an associated SWU fee. The SWU fee provides the most practical, appropriate and equitable means of funding the Stormwater Management Program. The fees collected fund the installation, repair and maintenance of assets (Municipal Separate Storm Sewer structures (MS4s)) managed by the Stormwater Management Program. Examples of MS4s are storm drains (catch basins), culverts, ditches, pipes, headwalls, and ponds.  The SWU fee went into effect January 1, 2004 and appears annually on the County property tax bill.


Effective June 1, 2023 and for the first time ever, the DeKalb County Governing Authority increased the Stormwater Utility fee. The increased revenue will allow Roads and Drainage to address the backlog of stormwater infrastructure repair work orders, maintain more ponds every year, clean more catch basins, respond more quickly to repair requests, partner with schools for a Green School Yards Initiative and invest in Green Infrastructure. Click below for more information.



                        Stormwater Fee Rate Analysis                     Green Schoolyards


What is Stormwater Utility Fee

The Stormwater utility fee was determined to be a reasonable and effective funding mechanism to address stormwater drainage issues and concerns. The fees provides for an equitable assignment of costs because property owners pay Stormwater Utility fees in direct proportion to the demand placed on the stormwater drainage system by their property's runoff.

Why do we need a Stormwater Utility Fee?

In 1972 Congress passed the Clean Water Act. The Clean Water Act in turn created the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) to control water pollution by regulating the discharge of pollutants to waterways. The Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) issues NPDES permits that allow DeKalb County to perform the activities necessary to maintain, repair, and upgrade stormwater drainage systems. It is essential for DeKalb County to maintain an effective stormwater drainage system in order to protect citizens from flooding, preserve and enhance the environmental quality of area watersheds, and to comply with NPDES requirements.

The Stormwater Utility fees that are collected from property owners are used to sustain and improve the county's stormwater drainage system. This is accomplished by repairing, upgrading, and performing preventative maintenance on stormwater system structures such as catch basins, pipes, culverts,detention ponds and headwalls.

Who is affected by the Stormwater Utility Fee?

Any property owner in Unincorporated DeKalb County whose property has an impervious surface is required to pay a stormwater utility fee. An impervious surface is defined as those areas which impede or prevent the infiltration of stormwater into the soil as it would normally infiltrate in natural conditions prior to development. Common impervious surfaces include, but are not limited to, rooftops, sidewalks, walkways, patio areas, driveways, parking lots, storage areas, compacted gravel, soil surfaces, awnings, and other fabric or plastic coverings.

When did the Stormwater Utility Fee go into effect?

In December 2003, The DeKalb County Board of Commissioners adopted a revised ordinance authorizing collection of fees from stormwater utility users, defined as DeKalb County property owners. The fee went into effect January 1, 2004 and appears annually on the county tax bill. Property owners can apply for and receive a stormwater fee credit if they meet the credit requirements.

How are Stormwater Utility fees calculated?

The Stormwater Utility (SWU) fee is based on the amount of impervious surface on a parcel. The formula for the SWU fee uses an Equivalent Residential Unit, or ERU.  The SWU fee per ERU is as follows:

  1. Ninety-six dollars ($96) per year for the year 2023
  2. One hundred eight dollars ($108) per year for the year 2024.
  3. One hundred twenty dollars (120) per year for the year 2025 and every subsequent year, subject to adjustment through action of the DeKalb Governing Authority.

The total number of ERUs for a property is calculated as follows:

  1. All single dwelling lots (i.e.  single family homes or townhomes) are charged one (1) ERU per year.
  2. All multiple dwelling lots (i.e.  apartments or condos) are charged one-half (.5) ERU times the number of units on the lot.
  3. All other developed lands are charged one (1) ERU for each three thousand (3,000) square feet of impervious surface or increment thereof on the property, rounded to the next tenth of an ERU.
  4. Undeveloped property is not charged a SWU fee.

Property owners can apply for and receive a stormwater fee credit if they mee the credit requirements.

How do I apply for a SWU credit?

Follow the link to the Stormwater Credit" topic listed on the sidebar to get additional information on the stormwater credit and obtain a credit application. Owners of non-residential parcels are welcome to apply for a SWU credit. The credit application will be approved if it meets the credit requirements.  Follow the link to the “Stormwater Utility Fee Credit System” page for additional information.

How do I report a stormwater drainage issue?

To report issues of concerns about a stormwater drainage structure, contact  Road and Drainage at (404)-297-3840 or fill out a service request form.

What if I have additional questions about the Stormwater Utility Fee?

Follow the link to the "Frequently Asked Questions" topic listed on the sidebar to get additional information or contact the Stormwater Utility group at (404) 297- 4464.