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Georgia Chapter Organizes “Stormwater Utilities Case studies” Workshop
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Georgia Chapter Organizes "Stormwater Utilities Case studies” Workshop

Although stormwater utilities have proven to be beneficial to many communities in Georgia, they are still somewhat misunderstood by many water professionals and the general public. These utilities also tend to be heavily litigated entities, in Georgia and the rest of the country.

On Sunday July 14th, the Georgia Chapter of AWRA hosted the "Stormwater Utilities Case studies” Workshop as part of the "pre-conference” activities of the Georgia Association of Water Professionals annual conference. It was a small group of very committed folks who were willing to give up their Sunday in the charming old City of Savannah! But, since we had the diehard stormwater enthusiasts, the workshop was very interactive.

David Watt, Secretary Treasurer of national AWRA, kicked off the event with greetings from the national association as well as a brief Florida perspective on stormwater utilities. The workshop looked at the approximately 45 utilities that currently exist in the State of Georgia. We compared and contrasted how the utilities are set-up and the circumstances that led to their creation. The speakers also shed some light on the operational benefits of a utility and the challenges they face in managing customers’ expectations. Finally, we compared and contrasted the methods in which the stormwater bill is delivered to customers and the mechanisms used to enforce payment. Our discussions also delved into the key issues that various local governments in Georgia considered when they decided to set-up a storm water utility in their community.