Storm Water Utility

Utility Creation

In the past, the City has used existing staff and resources to monitor and reduce pollution in storm water runoff.  Now, stricter regulations require us to provide a dedicated funding stream to make sure our rivers and ground water stay clean.  The best way to do this is the creation of a utility, which will allow us to continue to meet state and federal requirements.
Brennans Wave Web Size

What is storm water, and why is it a problem?

Storm water runoff is water from rain and melting snow that flows over land and impervious surfaces, such as paved streets, parking lots and building rooftops and does not soak into the ground.  The runoff picks up pollutants like trash, chemicals, oil, and dirt/sediment that can harm our rivers, creeks and lakes.

Assessment Method and Preliminary Rates

The City has developed a temporary rate schedule for the storm water utility. Once the utility is in place, a study will establish a more appropriate rate schedule that can be implemented at a later date.
  • Residential:  $9.00/year, billed twice a year
  • Commercial/Industrial:  $23.00/year, billed quarterly
Any future rate changes, including the one that will be implemented as a result of the rate study, must be approved by City Council as part of a public process.
  1. Water Quality Accomplishments
  2. Regulatory Information

Major Water Quality Accomplishments

  • Extension of the sewer system in older areas of the community previously served by outdated cesspools and seepage pits
  • Adoption of the first municipal phosphate ban in the Clark Fork River watershed, leading the way for other communities
  • Improvements to treatment capacity and scope at the Wastewater Treatment Plant
  • Storm water and flood control improvements for the Pattee Canyon, South Hills, 39th Street and Miller Creek areas
  • Installation of treatment devices for storm water discharges in downtown Missoula at Orange Street and Silver Park and planning for improved treatment at Caras Park and Buckhouse Bridge
  • Installation of the hybrid poplar project, 90,000 trees planted near the treatment plant and watered with effluent that would have gone to the Clark Fork River, eliminating significant amounts of nitrogen and phosphorous
The community’s unique Missoula Water Quality Ordinance provides strong protection, and the City regulates discharges such as dry cleaner solvents as well as the use of street deicers. For the past 10 years, the Missoula Valley Water Quality District has worked to enforce water quality laws, monitor groundwater cleanup sites, oversee household hazardous waste collection and more.