Due to urban expansion within Berkeley County, WV, stormwater runoff has become a major concern. The growing amount of man-made impervious surfaces has increased the amount of stormwater runoff and is now considered one of the leading causes of water pollution.
To protect life, property, and the water environment from loss, injury, and damage caused by stormwater runoff, the EPA has designated Berkeley County, WV like many other cities and municipalities across the State, as a "Phase II" MS4 stormwater community. According to the Clean Water Act, a Phase II designation requires cities and municipalities to actively manage stormwater to the new EPA standards or face significant penalties.
To reduce the amount of pollutants from reaching the local watercourses, the Berkeley County Public Service Storm Water District will be implementing a Water Quality Service Fee to provide funding for the MS4 stormwater program. MS4 stands for municipal separate storm sewer system. An MS4 is a conveyance or system of conveyances that is:
owned by a state, city, town, village, or other public entity that discharges to waters of the U.S.,
designed or used to collect or convey stormwater (e.g., storm drains, pipes, ditches),
not a combined sewer, and
not part of a sewage treatment plant, or publicly owned treatment works (POTW).
The Water Quality Service Fee will be based upon a flat rate, billed monthly in the amount of $3.50 - if you are a public water and/or sewer customer, or based upon a flat rate, billed semi-annually in the amount of $21.00 - if you are not a public water and/or sewer utility customer. If you are qualified for the Homestead Exemption through the Berkeley County Assessor's Office, your monthly or semi-annual Water Quality Service Fees will be discounted 15% (i.e. $2.97 monthly or $17.82 semi-annually). The Berkeley County Public Service Stormwater District will coordinate with the Berkeley County Assessor’s Office to obtain proof of Homestead Exemption status.
The funds from the Water Quality Service Fee will be used to apply best management practices over the next permit cycle to serve the citizens of Berkeley County, WV. These best management practices are as follows:
- Public Education/Outreach
- Public Participation/Involvement
- Illicit Discharge Detection/Elimination
- Construction Site Runoff Control
- Post-Construction Runoff Control
- Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
As the Berkeley County Public Service Storm Water District becomes fully operational over the next 2 to 5 years, areas of critical need throughout Berkeley County, WV will be assessed and prioritized, so that appropriate funds can be allocated toward stormwater management improvement projects.
The Berkeley County Public Service Storm Water District (BSPSSWD) Board of Directors adopted the Water Quality Fee in August 2019. The BCPSSWD sent a request for approval of the Water Quality Fee to the Berkeley County Council. The Council voted to adopt the Water Quality Service Fee in October 2019 to provide funds for stormwater management to protect the health, safety, and general welfare of the customers of the Berkeley County Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), and to protect and enhance the water quality, watercourses, and water supplies located in or running through the Berkeley County MS4, and to comply with State and Federal laws and regulations.