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    City of South Burlington

    The City of South Burlington owns and maintains a stormwater system, separate from the sanitary sewer system. The stormwater system includes conveyance piping, storm drains, culverts, detention basins, constructed wetlands, hydrodynamic swirl separators, drains, stormwater outfalls and other stormwater treatment practices. There are approximately 112 miles of stormwater pipe in South Burlington. In addition, there are over 5,000 storm drains within the City, more than 3,000 of which are publicly owned.

    Unmanaged stormwater is causing water pollution, erosion, flooding, and unstable stream banks. Private stormwater systems that are not maintained can become a public problem, and land owners are required to maintain any stormwater controls onsite through an operations and maintenance plan. Also, a stormwater user fee is imposed on every owner of non-exempt developed property within the city, based on how much impervious surface the property contains.

    The MS4 permit is a federally mandated stormwater permit under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination Systems (NPDES) program. In Vermont, the MS4 permit program is administered by the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (ANR). The MS4 permit is issued by ANR for a five year period. The primary mechanism by which the City of South Burlington meets requirements of the MS4 permit is through the activities of the South Burlington Stormwater Utility.

    City of South Burlington Stormwater Ordinance


    SECTION 1. Purpose

    The purpose of this Article is to provide for the health, safety, and general welfare of the citizens of South Burlington through the regulation of stormwater discharges to the stormwater system.

    SECTION 2. Applicability

    Any discharge of stormwater from developed property in the City shall be subject to the provisions of this Article.

    SECTION 3. Required Approvals

    (a) No owner of developed property in the City shall change or alter, or allow to be changed or altered, the discharge of stormwater from such property occurring on the effective date of this Article without first obtaining any permit or approval required under this or any other City Ordinance, state law, or federal law.

    (b) No unauthorized person shall uncover, make any connections with or opening into, use, alter, or disturb any public Storm Drain or appurtenance thereof without first obtaining a written permit from the Stormwater Superintendent. The owner shall indemnify the City for any loss or damage directly or indirectly occasioned by the construction or installation of the private drain or storm sewer system, including damages from back flow from the municipal storm sewer system.

    SECTION 4. Compliance with Existing Permits

    It shall be a violation of this Article for any owner of developed property that is subject to any local, state, or federal permit requirements regarding the discharge of stormwater to fail to comply with such permit requirements.

    SECTION 5. Use of the Public Stormwater System:

    (a) The following may be discharged into the public stormwater system, subject to obtaining and complying with any required permit:

    1. Stormwater;
    2. Water line flushing; landscape irrigation or lawn watering, provided all pesticides, herbicides, and fertilizers have been applied in accordance with the approved labeling; diverted stream flows; rising ground water; uncontaminated ground water; uncontaminated pumped ground water; discharges from potable water sources; foundation or footing drains where flows are not contaminated with process materials, and to which there are no floor drain, septic wastewater, or grey water connections; uncontaminated condensate from air conditioners, coolers/chillers, and other compressors and from the outside storage of refrigerated gasses or liquids; uncontaminated water from crawl spaces; irrigation water; spring water; flows from riparian habitats and wetlands; swimming pools (if dechlorinated - typically less than one PPM chlorine); discharges from emergency/unplanned firefighting activities; fire hydrant flushing; pavement and external building wash waters to which no detergents or other chemicals have been added; incidental windblown mists; and any other water source not containing Pollutants;
    3. Discharges specified in writing by the authorized enforcement person as being necessary to protect public health and safety;
    4. Dye testing is an allowable discharge, but requires a verbal notification to the authorized enforcement agent prior to the time of the test;
    5.  Any non-storm water discharge permitted under an NPDES permit, waiver, or waste discharge order issued to the discharger and administered under the authority of the Federal Environmental Protection Agency, provided that the discharger is in full compliance with all requirements of the permit, waiver, or order and other applicable laws and regulations, and provided that written approval has been granted for any discharge to the storm drain system.

    (b) It shall be a violation of this Ordinance for any person to cause or allow to occur any illicit discharge to the public stormwater system or allow any illicit discharge existing on the date this Article becomes effective to continue regardless of whether such existing discharge was permissible under law or practices applicable or prevailing at the time the discharge commenced.

    Section 6. Best Management Practices

    (A) The Stormwater Superintendent will adopt requirements identifying Best Management Practices (BMPs) for any activity, operation, or facility which may cause or contribute to an Illicit Discharge to the Stormwater System. The owner or operator of a commercial or industrial establishment shall provide, at their own expense, reasonable protection from an accidental Illicit Discharge into the Public Stormwater System. Further, any Person responsible for a property or premises, which is, or may be, the source of an Illicit Discharge to the Public Stormwater System, may be required to implement, at said Person's expense, additional BMPs to prevent or discontinue the Illicit Discharge. Compliance with all terms and conditions of a valid NPDES permit authorizing the discharge of Stormwater associated with Industrial Activity, to the extent practicable, shall be deemed in compliance with the provisions of this Section.
    (B) Every Person owning property through which a Watercourse passes, or such Person's lessee, shall keep and maintain that part of the Watercourse within the property free of trash, debris, excessive vegetation, and other obstacles that would pollute, contaminate, or significantly retard the flow of water through the Watercourse. In addition, the owner or lessee shall maintain existing privately owned structures within or adjacent to a Watercourse, so that such structures will not become a hazard to the use, function, or physical integrity of the Watercourse.
    (C) Notwithstanding other requirements of law, as soon as any Person responsible for a facility or operation, or responsible for emergency response for a facility or operation has information of any known or suspected release of materials which are resulting or may result in an Illicit Discharge into the Stormwater System, said Person shall take all necessary steps to ensure the discovery, containment, and cleanup of such release. In the event of a release of Hazardous Materials, said Person shall immediately notify emergency response agencies of the occurrence via emergency dispatch services. In the event of a release of nonhazardous materials, said Person shall notify the Stormwater Superintendent in person or by phone or facsimile no later than the next business day. Notifications in person or by phone shall be confirmed by written notice addressed and mailed to the Stormwater Superintendent within three business days of the phone notice. If the Illicit Discharge emanates from a commercial or industrial establishment, the owner or operator of such establishment shall also retain an on-site written record of the discharge and the actions
    taken to prevent its recurrence. Such records shall be retained for at least three years.

    SECTION 7. Protection from Damage

    No person shall maliciously, willfully or negligently break, damage, destroy, uncover, deface, or tamper with any structure, appurtenance, or equipment which is a part of the public stormwater system. Any person violating this provision shall be subject to immediate arrest under the charge of unlawful mischief as set forth in Title 13, Section 3701 of the Vermont Statutes Annotated.


    SECTION 1. Establishment of Stormwater User Fees

    (a) A user fee based on an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) shall be imposed on every owner of non-exempt developed property within the City. An ERU shall equal that square footage that represents the median of the area of impervious surface for all single family residences in the City. The City Council shall, by resolution, establish the square footage that constitutes one ERU on a periodic basis.

    (b) The City Council shall have the authority to set and modify the user fee rates so that the total revenue generated by said charges, and any secondary sources of revenue, shall be sufficient to fund the City’s stormwater program.

    (c) The City council shall establish by resolution the monthly rate for each ERU. The monthly user fee for a specific property is determined by multiplying the rate per ERU times the number of ERUs allocated to the property.

    (d) The only exempt property under this Article is that included within the limits of a railroad track right-of-way. Property on which railroad stations, maintenance buildings, or other developed land used for railroad purposes is located shall not be exempt.

    SECTION 4. Billing and Collection

    (a) Stormwater user fees will be billed quarterly and shall be reflected on the water and sewer bills for each property owner, where applicable. The bill shall also state the ERUs allocated to each property.

    (b) A property owner may appeal an allocation of ERUs to the Stormwater Superintendent by submitting a written notice of appeal to the Stormwater Superintendent within fifteen (15) calendar days of the mailing date of the bill. The Stormwater Superintendent shall promptly meet with the property owner and issue a decision of the allocation of ERUs. A property owner may appeal the Stormwater Superintendent’s determination regarding credit revocation in the same manner set forth in Section 2(b), above.

    The filing of an appeal shall not relieve a property owner of the obligation to pay the user fee when due.

    (c) In the event any stormwater user fee is not paid within thirty (30) days from the billing date, a late penalty charge will be added to the fee together with interest charges. The amount of the late penalty charge and the interest rate on the overdue accounts shall be the same as those applied to delinquent taxes. If such payment is not made, such stormwater user fee shall be a lien upon such real estate and may be collected in the manner provided in 24 V.S.A., §§ 3504 and 3612. Any payment made to the City for utility fees shall first be allocated to delinquent water, then delinquent sewer, then delinquent stormwater fees. The remaining amount of the payment shall first be allocated to current water, then current sewer, then current stormwater fees.

    SECTION 5. Expenditures.

    (a) The user fees, as well as any secondary sources of revenue, shall be used to fund the City’s efforts to manage stormwater. Acceptable expenditures include, but are not limited to, capital construction, maintenance and operations, engineering and planning, regulation and enforcement, water quality programs, special services, administration and management, coverage requirements, reserve funds, and miscellaneous overhead costs.

    (b) Excess revenues may be placed into a sinking fund, and may be retained and expended in the manner set forth in Article IV, Section 6 of this Ordinance.


    City of South Burlington Stormwater Documents: