Can I pay a fee-in-lieu of Water Quality Treatment in the City of Austin?
Yes, per the City of Austin Environmental Criteria Manual, commercial and single-family residential developments within Urban Watershed may pay a fee-in-lieu of Water Quality instead of providing on-site structural water quality facilities. The City of Austin uses the funds they receive through this program to study, design, implement, and construct urban water quality improvement projects throughout Austin.
1) A fee-in-lieu may be paid for commercial sites that are 1-acre or less in an urban watershed. The City of Austin realizes that providing a water quality pond or rain gardens on a site that is less than acre can be difficult and costly. One example is the construction of an underground water quality pond under a building to provide as much developable area as possible. Sites that are greater than 1 acre can pay a fee-in-lieu of water quality for the first acre and provide water quality facilities for the remaining site acreage. Utilizing this option can significantly reduce the size and cost of the required water quality facility.
2) Similarly, single-family developments that are 2 acres or less may pay a fee-in-lieu of water quality and will not be required to provide any on-site water quality facilities.
3) Developments that allow storm runoff to sheet flow over pervious cover, i.e. grass/landscaped areas, prior to being concentrated may pay a fee-in-lieu of providing on-site water quality facilities.
4) Finally, developments that will either be treated by an existing or future regional water quality facility may pay a fee-in-lieu of water quality and forgo providing on-site facilities. There are multiple regional water quality ponds located throughout Austin that are designed to provide water quality for multi-acre drainage basins. A drainage study can confirm that a particular site is located within one of the established drainage basins.