Stormwater Utility Feasibility Study

About the Project

The County has completed a Stormwater Utility Feasibility Study and is considering a different option for funding the Stormwater program. Currently, the stormwater program is funded through the Sanitary District Tax based on a property’s real estate assessment. A stormwater utility, however, is calculated based on the amount of impervious surface on a parcel (hard surfaces like roofs and driveways that don’t let rain runoff soak into the ground). Impervious cover is a better estimate of usage of the stormwater system than the property assessment. Properties with more hard surfaces that contribute more stormwater runoff to the system would pay a higher rate. Learn more about a stormwater utility with this Infographic or Fact Sheet.

Because a stormwater utility is calculated based on impervious cover, rather than based on the property’s real estate assessment, it is a fairer way to pay for stormwater. It also allows localities to offer credits to customers who reduce their properties’ runoff to the stormwater system. Many Virginia communities have transitioned to a stormwater utility to fund their stormwater programs.  Stormwater Utility Frequently Asked Questions.(PDF, 164KB)

View the Stormwater Utility Fee Estimator to learn more about the impervious area on your property. 

Stormwater-Utility-Infographic-Thumbnail.jpg                                                 Single family detached home

Need for Increased Investment

The rise in severe and devastating flooding in our area requires the County to increase its investments in our stormwater system. These investments will help maintain and upgrade our stormwater infrastructure to better protect the community.  Staff have identified the types of significant investments required to ensure watershed scale stormwater system improvement. Given the complexity, scale, and scope of these investments, these initial capacity improvement projects will take place over at least the next 10 years. The County has significantly increased funding for the stormwater management program in the recently adopted CIP. The County must also invest in water quality improvement projects required to meet the Chesapeake Bay requirements in the County’s stormwater permit.

Feasibility Study Considerations

  • Current stormwater funding methods, needs and levels
  • Different types of funding mechanisms
  • How customers might be charged for stormwater services
  • Comparing Arlington County with other localities in Virginia
  • Analysis of customer impacts using different types of rate structures employed by other utilities

Read the interim Stormwater Utility Feasibility Study report.



Phase 1 – 2020-2021. Research and feasibility analysis: 

  • Analysis of how a stormwater utility would affect different types of customers
  • Examination of different rate structures
  • Initial cost estimates for implementation and ongoing utility operation
  • Final Stormwater Utility Feasibility Study Report

Phase 2 – Spring 2022-Spring 2023Development and implementation of a stormwater utility. 

The County Board directed staff at Feb. 1, 2022 work session (video link in engagement section below) to move forward with Phase 2.  

The Board would vote on implementation of a stormwater utility during the spring 2023 budget process. 

Public Engagement and Presentations

In developing the stormwater utility, the County is engaging with customers from a broad and representative range of backgrounds and interests via online feedback forms, public forums, and other engagement methods. View a stormwater utility flyer in English and Spanish.(PDF, 1MB) Click on the Engagement Timeline graphic below to view it in more detail.


Stormwater-Utility-Timeline-small.jpg(PDF, 121KB)        


Stormwater Utility Community Advisory Group

The County has invited a number of organizations to join an advisory group, representing single-family and multi-family residential, commercial, religious, environmental, commercial, fiscal, non-profit and institutional sectors.  The advisory group meetings will be public, with a designated time for public comment, although the meeting discussion and agenda will be limited to the advisory group members.

Meeting Date    Meeting Information    Meeting Materials  
 Feb. 1, 2022  County Board Work Session 

 Meeting Video

 Meeting Presentation 

 March 30, 2022, 7 - 9 PM  

  SUCAG Meeting #1 

  Overview and Background

 Meeting Presentation(PDF, 3MB)

 Meeting Video

 Meeting Q&A Summary(PDF, 94KB)

 April 12, 2022 7 PM  Presentation to Civic Federation 


 Meeting video (begins at 13:00 min)

 Meeting Q&A Summary(PDF, 125KB)

 May 3, 2022, 7 - 9 PM

  SUCAG Meeting #2

  Overview of program costs

  Presentation(PDF, 8MB)
  Meeting video

  Meeting Q&A Summary(PDF, 177KB)

 June 1, 9 AM, 2022

Chamber of Commerce

Government Affairs Committee

 Presentation(PDF, 2MB)  
 June 27, 7-9 PM

  SUCAG Meeting #3

  Review of rate structures

 Presentation(PDF, 4MB)

(PDF, 4MB) Meeting video

 July 17, 2-4 PM 

Stormwater Utility Open House

Lubber Run Community Center

300 N. Park Dr, Arlington VA

 Open House Display Boards(PDF, 18MB)
 August 31, 7-9 PM

     SUCAG Meeting #4    

     Draft credit program

 Presentation(PDF, 5MB)

 Meeting video

 September 14, 2022

    Arlington Neighborhood

    Village Presentation

  Presentation(PDF, 5MB)

  Presentation video

 September 28, 7-8 PM

    Information Session for

    Faith-based Organizations 


 Meeting presentation(PDF, 5MB)

 Meeting video 

 September 29, 11 AM    Interfaith Alliance Meeting   Meeting Presentation(PDF, 3MB)
 October 12, 7 PM

   SUCAG Meeting #5  

   Summary and wrap-up

 Meeting Presentation(PDF, 3MB)

 Meeting video 

 November 2, 11 AM

   Information Session for

   Non Profit Organizations 

  Meeting presentation(PDF, 4MB)

  Meeting video


If you would like to attend the SUCAG meetings as a member of the public, please email Aileen at to receive the meeting link.