S.C. Code Regs. 72-310 - Criteria for Implementation of a Stormwater Utility

Current through Register Vol. 46, No. 3, March 25, 2022

The implementation of a stormwater utility will necessitate the development of a local utility ordinance or special taxing assessment prior to its implementation, pursuant to Chapter 9, Title 4, 1976 Code of Laws as amended by Act 114 1991. There are essential components that an ordinance must contain to function as a funding mechanism for stormwater management and those components shall include, but not be limited to, the following items:

A. The financing of a stormwater utility with a user charge system must be reasonable and equitable so that each user of the stormwater system pays to the extent to which the user contributes to the need for the stormwater system, and that the charges bear a substantial relationship to the cost of the service. The use of county and municipal taxpayer rolls and accounting systems are allowed for the assessment and collection of fees.
B. The intent of the utility must be clearly defined regarding program components that are to be funded through the utility. Those components may include but not be limited to the following activities:
(1) Preparation of comprehensive watershed master plans for stormwater management,
(2) Annual inspections of all stormwater management facilities, both public and private,
(3) Undertaking regular maintenance, through contracting or other means, of stormwater management structures that have been accepted for maintenance.
(4) Plan review and inspection of sediment control and stormwater management plans and practices, and
(5) Retrofitting designated watersheds, through contracting or other means, to reduce existing flooding problems or to improve water quality.
C. The authority for the creation of the stormwater utility and the imposition of charges to finance sediment and stormwater activities is conferred in Chapter 14, Title 48, South Carolina Code. The application of a stormwater utility by means of a local ordinance or other means shall not be deemed a limitation or repeal of any other powers granted by State statute.
D. The creation of a stormwater utility shall include the following components:
(1) The boundaries of the utility, such as watersheds or jurisdictional boundaries as identified by the local governing body,
(2) The creation of a management entity,
(3) Identification of stormwater problems,
(4) Method for determining utility charges,
(5) Procedures for investment and reinvestment of funds collected, and
(6) An appeals or petition process.
E. As established by local ordinance or special election or petition, the local government shall have responsibility for implementing all aspects of the utility including long range planning, plan implementation, capital improvements, maintenance of stormwater facilities, determination of charges, billing, and hearing of appeals and petitions. The local government also will have responsibility for providing staff support for utility implementation.
F. With the respect to new stormwater management facilities constructed by private developers, the local government shall develop criteria for use in determining whether these will be maintained by the utility or by the facility owner. Such criteria may include whether the facility has been designed primarily to serve residential users and whether it has been designed primarily for purposes of stormwater management. In situations where it is determined that public maintenance is not preferable, standards shall be developed to ensure that inspection of facilities occurs annually and that facilities are maintained as needed.
G. The use of charges is limited to those purposes for which the utility has been established, including but not limited to: planning; acquisition of interests in land including easements; design and construction of facilities; maintenance of the stormwater system; billing and administration; and water quantity and water quality management, including monitoring, surveillance, private maintenance inspection, construction inspection, and other activities which are reasonably required.


S.C. Code Regs. 72-310
Added by State Register Volume 16, Issue No. 6, eff June 26, 1992.

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