Stormwater Utility


The City of Salem provides its residents with a variety of stormwater services including drainage system maintenance, flooding response, regulatory compliance, capital improvements, street sweeping, and much more.

Historically, Salem's stormwater services has been paid for by the City's wastewater (sewer) rate payers. However, there is no relationship between wastewater fees paid by the rate payers and the stormwater services received.

In December 2010, City Council approved creation of a stormwater utility and implementation of a separate stormwater rate that more equitably relates the stormwater fees to the stormwater services received. The stormwater utility does not provide a new source of revenue, but represents a more fair way of recovering the costs for stormwater services, services that are already being provided by the City.

The ordinance establishing the creation of a stormwater utility delayed initial implementation until January 1, 2013. When implemented, the stormwater fee was phased in over four rate cycles, which took a total of three years to complete. Since 2016 we are at full implementation of the stormwater fee.

The stormwater collection system that must be maintained consists of more than:

  • 85 miles of ditches
  • 90 miles of streams
  • 420 miles of pipe
  • 900 detention basins
  • 22,000 storm drainage structures

Salem’s stormwater programs include a variety of activities and projects, such as:

  • Stormwater system operation and maintenance
  • Stormwater quality and monitoring
  • Public education and involvement
  • Street sweeping
  • Stream cleaning
  • Spill response
  • Municipal regulations
  • Stormwater complaint response
  • Inspections
  • Capital projects

Sand placed in front of shopping mall to prepare for flood waters.

​Additional information

Statesman Journal Editorial - Stormwater 2010-1267 KB
Stormwater Design Handbook for Developers and Large Projects1080 KB
Stormwater Design Handbook for Home and Small Projects10677 KB
Stormwater Utility credit information208 KB
Stormwater Utility fact sheet176 KB
Stormwater Utility fact sheet - Spanish192 KB
Stormwater Utility 2012 FAQ581 KB
Stormwater Utility 2012 FAQ - Spanish1316 KB
Stormwater Utility information report 20122354 KB

Utility Rate Credit

Storm crew walking over the Pedestrial Bridge

Contact us

Public Works Department
8:00 a.m.–5:00 p.m.
555 Liberty ST SE RM 325
Salem OR 97301