Sanitary Sewer/Storm Drainage Billing Questions

When land is undeveloped rain and melting snow will soak into the land or naturally flow to streams and rivers. When land is developed an impervious surface is created. An impervious surface is a man-made area that will not readily absorb water. Examples of impervious surfaces include paved areas, roof tops, streets and sidewalks. Developed land cannot absorb the water as easily, if at all, and many flow patterns are changed. In order to control the storm water, a storm drainage network has been built. These facilities must be operated, maintained, renewed and replaced in order to provide a safe flow of storm water.


To control storm waters and receive the benefits of that control, there is a cost. Since everyone in the City benefits, The Denver City Council passed an ordinance in 1981 which authorizes a storm drainage service charge to be collected from the owners of all improved parcels of land.

The annual charge to a property owner is based on the relative impact the property will have on the storm drainage system. For instance, a parking lot will have more storm runoff than a grassy area of the same size. The charge is based on the ratio of impervious surface area to total parcel area. An impervious surface is a man-made area that will not readily absorb rain water as it falls. Based upon that ratio, a rate is applied to the impervious area to calculate the annual charge. The higher the ratio, the greater the rate.

Calculate your Storm Drainage bill

Your storm drainage charges are actually lower than many other cities, both locally and nationally. A 1998-99 survey shows that Denver's storm drainage rates are 35% lower than the national average.
The charges on your property tax statement are collected for the Urban Drainage Flood Control District. UDFCD is a regional agency. It is involved in the planning and funding of major storm drainage projects, many of which cross city and county boundaries.

The UDFCD charge is based on the assessed value of your property. By contrast, our storm drainage charge is based on the runoff contri-bution of each property. This is determined by impervious surface area. Our charges are not a duplication of funds collected on behalf of UDFCD.
To reduce costs and as a convenience to customers, a combination bill was developed. The sanitary sewer bill is based on the water consumption metered by the Denver Water Department. This information is included on your combined bill.
Each year, we establish a new winter consumption for every residential customer, based on the metered water consumption shown on the February bill. The winter consumption sets the sanitary sewer charges for the entire year, starting with the March bill. Even though your water use may increase during the summer, your sanitary sewer charges will remain constant until a new winter consumption is calculated.

The sanitary sewer charge for commercial property is based upon actual metered consumption in each billing period during the year.
Your sanitary sewer charges are actually lower than many other cities, both locally and nationally. A national 2009 survey shows that Denver's residential sanitary sewer rates are the 3rd lowest of 36 large U.S. cities surveyed.
 You may phone Wastewater's Customer Service unit at 303-446-3500

. Our telephone hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday. Our offices are open to answer your questions from 7:30 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., Monday - Friday. We are located at 2000 West Third Avenue, Denver.

You should pay any past due amounts as soon as you can. Wastewater Management Division does not charge a late fee. However, if you fail to pay either sanitary sewer or storm drainage charges, a service lien may be filed against your property. When a service lien is filed with the city’s Treasury Division, Treasury will increase the balance owed by a filing fee and monthly interest charges. All liens filed are to be paid directly to the Treasury Division. For a pay-off of a service lien contact Treasury at 720-913-9500.

Service lien delinquencies unpaid as of November of each year are sold at a tax lien sale. The City Treasurer will then file a tax lien against the property. If the tax lien and interest is not settled within three years from the date the tax lien is filed, title to the property may be lost to a Treasurer's Deed.
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