How do projects get selected?
Build Houston Forward looks to select projects within each district to benefit the most people. The current focus is on projects to improve our drainage system and help prevent future flooding. Houston Public Works is also shifting focus to identify smaller projects that can be implemented more quickly.
How do projects get funded?
The City created a Dedicated Drainage and Street Renewal Fund which includes the Drainage Utility Fee, Developer Impact Fee (adopted in 2013), dedicated property taxes, and funds from third party sources such as METRO, Texas Department of Transportation, and Federal Grants. See how we're funding the work responsibly.
DRAINAGE FEE QUESTIONS
What is the drainage fee?
The drainage fee for property owners is assessed based on a few key factors. One determining factor is the actual square footage of impervious surface on the property. Another element is how the property is classified, either residential or non-residential. A third factor is the type of drainage system serving the property. A more detailed explanation of how this fee is calculated can be found here.
How is the drainage fee calculated?
All charges are based on the square footage of actual impervious surface (hard area) on a Benefitted Property, which has been determined by the use of digitized mapping data. "Impervious surface" means any area that does not readily absorb water, such as buildings, patios, driveways, and other covered areas.
The Annual Drainage Utility Charge of a Benefitted Property is based on two factors:
- The Square Footage of the actual Impervious Surface on your property
- The Rate (per square foot) applicable to your type of property
All Benefitted Properties are classified by City Drainage Utility Ordinance into two categories:
If your Benefitted Property is defined as Residential the applicable rate will be determined by the type of drainage system serving your property.
- Curb & Gutter Drainage System - $0.032 per sq-ft of Impervious Surface
- Open Ditch Drainage System - $0.026 per sq-ft of Impervious Surface
If your Benefitted Property is defined as Non-Residential the rate will be $0.032 per sq-ft, regardless of drainage system type.
If you're billed for water by the city, your annual Drainage Utility Charge is divided by 12 and billed monthly. Otherwise the annual charge is divided by 4 and billed quarterly.
Type of Property: Residential, Single Family
Drainage System serving the Property: Curb & Gutter
Applicable Rate per sq-ft of Impervious Surface: $0.032
Total area of Impervious Surface: 1,500 sq-ft
Total Annual Drainage Utility Charge = (1,500 sq-ft x $0.032) = $48.00
Portion of Drainage Utility Charge billed Monthly = ($48.00/12) = $4.00
What is impervious surface?
An impervious surface is man-made. It doesn't let rain or water penetrate through it into the ground, thus causing the flow of surface water to increase. The most common examples are rooftops, parking and driveway areas, sidewalks and swimming pools. The water that does not readily infiltrate into the ground significantly increases the risk of flooding. It also raises the amount of sediment and chemical contaminants in water sources. That's why impervious surfaces are a major concern for the quality of surface water and aquatic resources. For a more-detailed definition of Impervious Surface and Surface Materials, see also the City Drainage Utility Ordinance No. 2011-254.
Why is impervious surface area used to determine my drainage utility charge?
Impervious surfaces keep water from being absorbed into the ground. This significantly increases the amount of surface water runoff. The more impervious surface you have on your property, the greater the amount of water flowing off your property into the city's drainage system. And the risk of flooding escalates.
What do I do in case of service (water) interruption?
During construction, if contractors need to interrupt service, notification will be sent to the neighborhood in advance. If you notice the water has been shut off, and you have not received notification, please dial 311, the City of Houston Help & Info line.
Why aren't all the pins in the exact location of the pothole?
We learn about potholes from citizens who report them. Since they don't all give us a GPS reading of the pothole's exact location, we frequently use the caller's home address or location at the time of the call.
FOR FURTHER INQUIRIES
If you do not see an answer to your question here, want further clarification, or need to report an issue, please don't hesitate to dial 311, the City of Houston Help & Info line, or reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org at any time.