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Property owners are not being charged for rain falling on a property, but for the amount of runoff that is discharged into the city's storm water system when it does rain.
When rain falls on impervious area, it collect all sorts of pollutants, such as oil, grease, fertilizers and sediments. The amount of pollutants contained in storm water can be correlated to the amount of impervious area on a property.
That storm water - and all the pollutants it collects - eventually makes its way to the city's storm water management system.
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The storm water charge is used to pay for improvements, operations and maintenance of the storm water management system (for example: upgrading storm drains, street sweeping and cleaning of storm sewer system components, public education and programs for improving water quality) throughout the City of North Miami Beach, as mandated by State and Federal Law.
The storm water management system refers to all natural and man made elements used to convey storm water from the first point of impact with the surface of the earth to a suitable receiving water or location internal or external to the boundaries of the City. The storm water management system includes all the pipes, channels, streams, ditches, wetlands, canals, bays, detention / retention basins, ponds, and other storm water conveyance and treatment facilities.
An Equivalent Residential Unit is a billing unit for the amount of storm water runoff from the impervious area of the average-sized residential parcel. It is a measure that serves to compare runoff generated by different size and type of properties with different storm water generation characteristics. In North Miami Beach, an ERU represents 1,800 square feet of impervious surface that is found on the property.
Residential properties are billed based on the number of dwelling units, therefore a single-family home is charged for 1 ERU. Multi-family dwellings of 3 units or more are charged for 0.75 ERU per unit.
A commercial property with 3,762 square feet of roof plus parking area would have a storm water runoff Equivalent Residential Unit area equal to 2.09 ERU (3,762 divided by 1,800).
Developed property generates more storm water runoff with a greater amount of pollutants than land in its natural state. The amount of storm water fee charged to a property correlates directly to the impervious area on that property, thereby ensuring that the fees are charged fairly and equitably.
It is the area on a property that is covered by buildings, driveways, parking areas and other hard surfaces that prevent runoff from being absorbed into the soil. It is measured in terms of square footage.