Drainage System Utility Fee

The City of Lewiston may adopt a Drainage System Utility Fee to manage stormwater drainage in a manner that protects the public's health, safety, and water quality. This fee would also help the City meet federally mandated regulations for discharging stormwater and finance the associated stormwater-related infrastructure costs, improvements, and maintenance. 

The Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit is a requirement set forth by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). Under this permit, all municipalities in the United States are required to develop and implement a comprehensive Stormwater Management Program. 

The Drainage System Utility Fee focuses on reducing the potential for stormwater pollution and improving the City of Lewiston’s stormwater infrastructure while protecting water quality.  

The City's proposed Drainage System Utility is modeled after the Lewiston User Fee Study which was adopted by City Council on April 25, 2022. The study is broken out into three (3) separate PDF files which are available in the sidebar under "Lewiston User Fee Study". 

Review the frequently asked questions flyer, here

(Stormwater) Drainage System Utility Service Area Map


It’s important to note that not all water is treated equally. The City of Lewiston has two separate water collection systems. The sanitary sewer system collects wastewater from sinks, toilets, showers, and washing machines that is transported through pipes and flows to the wastewater treatment plant (pictured above, left). Whereas storm drains carry water that remains untreated, directly into green spaces and the river (pictured above, right). While both systems have extensive infrastructure, the stormwater drainage system that includes everything from ditches and culverts, ponds and lakes, curbs and gutters, to wetlands and rain gardens, is not part of a treatment process at any point. This is why it is vital that we all do our part to protect our water and our environment by remembering “only rain should go down the storm drain.”

What happens if... 

Lewiston DOES NOT have a drainage system utility fee? 

  • Funding for drainage (stormwater) system maintenance and improvement projects would continue to come from property taxes. 
  • Pipe replacement for the 100-plus-year-old stormwater system would continue to be deferred. With the trend of construction costs increasing year after year, maintenance and improvements for these projects would continue to be pushed back and/or tackled with a piecemeal approach; this is costlier in the long term. 
  • The City would not be able to meet the requirements of the EPA'S MS4 permit and could face financial penalties for each violation. 

What happens next? 

  • The Lewiston City Council may set a rate for the drainage system utility fee. 
  • A drainage system utility budget may be adopted, similar to how water and sewer budgets are set; through a public hearing process. 
  • Beginning in early 2024, a drainage system utility fee may begin.  

Opportunities for Public Comment

The City of Lewiston wants to hear from you! You can provide your thoughts on the upcoming Drainage System Utility in the following ways:
  • Attend City Council Work Sessions - Monthly on the first Monday
  • Attend City Council Regular Sessions - Monthly on the second and fourth Monday
  • Call the hotline at 208-298-3900
  • Email a completed form (PDF) to dsu@cityoflewiston.org
  • Submit your comments via this online form
  • Print and drop off a complete form (PDF) to the Public Works office at 215 D Street, Suite B in downtown Lewiston. 
  • Email a completed form (PDF) to dsu@cityoflewiston.org
  • Mail a printed form (PDF) to: Public Works, PO Box 617, Lewiston, ID 83501
  • Complete a form in-person at Utility Billing at 1134 F Street or at the Public Works office at 215 D Street, Suite B