Stormwater Utility (STWF)

In May 2007, Town Meeting approved Article 21, the Stormwater Management By-law, which allowed the Board of Sewer Commissioners to adopt (pursuant to M.G.L. ch.83 §16 and ch. 40 §1A), administer, implement, and enforce a Stormwater Utility.

In February 2019, the Board of Sewer Commissioners adopted a Stormwater Utility, effective July 2019, after the USEPA updated the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Stormwater Discharges from Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4), in short known as the MS4-2016 Permit, which was announced on April 2016 and went into effect on July 2018.

The MS4-2016 Permit Permit is more stringent and comprehensive than the former MS4-2003 Permit, and the Town estimated the cost of compliance to be ± $1.75 million per year. Therefore, a Stormwater Utility Fee (STWF) is assessed on a quarterly basis to every residential and non-residential parcel (including municipal, tax-exempt, and vacant properties) based on their impervious area. Impervious area is defined as any material or structure on or above ground that prevents water from infiltrating the underlying soil such as driveways, roofs, parking lots, and any areas of compacted dirt or gravel used for vehicular traffic or parking.

A summary of the Stormwater Utility Rates are listed below (but may also be found here):

Parcel TypeTierImpervious Area [sq.ft.]Quarterly RateAnnual Rate
Residential (1 to 3 family homes, 2-unit Condominiums/Townhouses, and Multiple Houses)1< 5,000$22.50$90
25,001 to 10,000$50.00$200
3> 10,001$81.25$325
Other Residential /
1< 5,000$22.50$90
25,001 to 10,000$50.00$200
310,001 to 15,000$81.25$325
415,001 to 25,000$125.00$500
525,001 to 50,000$250.00$1,000
650,001 to 75,000$375.00$1,500
775,001 to 100,000$562.50$2,250
8100,001 to 200,000$937.50$3,750
9200,001 to 300,000$1,562.50$6,250
10> 300,001$1,875.00$7,500

Factor Billing

A property’s first Stormwater Utility bill may not align with the quarterly rate described above. In accordance with Section 12 of the Stormwater Management Rules & Regulations, the Town has the ability to back bill parcels of land for a period of up to one year (sans late fees or delinquency charges) if a particular parcel of land is unbilled. Their next Utility bill will reflect the normal quarterly rate.

What if I have been billed incorrectly?

The Town of Shrewsbury offers a Petition for Adjustment to ensure an accurate tier assignment of each parcel of land for the STWF.

After payment of the bill in full, you can submit a Petition for Adjustment to the Shrewsbury Department of Public Works, with supporting documents, if:

  • There was an error in billing amount (e.g. incorrect tier, approved credit applied incorrectly);
  • There was an error in calculating your impervious area* (e.g. deck with pervious ground underneath, a building was demolished and the area is now grass, entire/portion of impervious area on property is related to an easement);
  • The identification of the property owner was invoiced in error (e.g. change in ownership, closings); and/or
  • Other similar circumstances.

*Property owners can estimate their impervious area using the Shrewsbury AxisGIS website and using the Measure Area tool found on the top right.

The Stormwater Utility Petition for Adjustment can be found here.

What if I have a Stormwater BMP on my property?

The Town of Shrewsbury offers up to a 50% credit against the STWF for property owners who undertake specific actions that exceed the minimum requirements of any applicable stormwater management guidelines including the Zoning Bylaw, Subdivision Rules & Regulations, Stormwater Management Rules & Regulations, and Wetlands Protection Act, as amended.

You can find more information in the Stormwater Management Credit Policy and under Section 11 of the Stormwater Management Rules & Regulations.

The Stormwater Management Credit Application is located here.

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