Ways to save on storm water utility fee - WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

Ways to save on storm water utility fee

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If you live in Roanoke City paying your part to help with state mandated storm water costs is inevitable.

Property owners will be charged thirty cents per month per five hundred square feet of impervious surface.

That rate will increase by thirty cents each year until 2016.

On average home owners will pay five dollars per month,but your bill could be cut in half with a few simple projects.

WSLS wanted to find ways to help you save a few extra dollars.

So I spoke with Roanoke City engineer Phil Schirmer who's just released a guide with “how-to” tips.

"The idea book is really a bunch of different bmp's that homeowners can kind of take on on their own. Simple cost effective things to do," Schirmer said.

Online these projects are explained in detail, and are even categorized by how much it costs to make, how difficult it is and how much it can save you.

Projects include making a simple rain barrel for your drain spout. WSLS even found step-by-step instructions listed on youtube. It’s an easy project worth 10 percent savings.

Another easy project is modifying the way you mow your lawn.

To qualify you must commit to at least three of the following:

1. Grow turf grasses adapted to the Roanoke climate.
2. Use less fertilizer.
3. Leave lawn clippings on the lawn after mowing.
4. Avoid fertilizing within 20 feet of a stream or ditch.
5. Reseed bare areas to prevent future erosion.
6. Mow grass at 3” or taller to reduce runoff.
7. Keep grass clippings and fertilizers off impervious surfaces.
8. Don’t irrigate too much.
9. Till soils and amend with compost to increase infiltration.
10. Pick up pet waste regularly and dispose of appropriately.

"These are some of the things that people can do if they choose to to help the environment and reduce that fee a little bit."

That fee doesn't kick in until July 1st, so you have plenty of time to plan your project.

To view the manuel and idea guide visit Roanoke City’s website.

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