Water Quality Management Fee

The Water Quality Management Fee provides funding for projects to improve water quality and maintain storm sewer infrastructure in our community. All developed properties in Lexington-Fayette County pay the fee.

Single-family homes and duplexes pay 1 ERU (Equivalent Residential Unit) per month.

Apartment complexes and non-residential properties will pay the fee based on the total amount of impervious surface on their properties. Impervious surfaces are areas such as roofs, parking lots and driveways that do not absorb water when it rains. The fee is calculated per 2,500 square feet of impervious surface, which equals 1 ERU.

Water Quality Management Fee:

  • 2023 Rate (July 1, 2023 – June 30, 2024): $5.63 per ERU.

If you are a non-residential property that would like to appeal your fee calculation, please follow the steps below.

The appeals process has been developed to assist parcel owners who wish to challenge the Water Quality Management Fee. The Appeals Process is not the first step for property owners who wish to challenge the calculation of the fee on their properties. Impervious area calculations, possible property line errors or other issues concerning the fee calculation should go through our Customer Service Process. This process is in place to correct errors quickly and efficiently without requiring the submission of an appeal. Owners can use the program by calling LexCall at 311 or (859) 425-2255.   

Challenges to the ordinance, appeals for exemptions and other issues dealing with the legality of the fee must be submitted through the Appeals Process. The Water Quality Management Fee’s terms and conditions are defined in Sections 16-401 through 16-410, et al, of the Code of Ordinances. Property owners have the right to appeal the fee applied to their property as follows:

  1. Property owners who disagree with the fee amount or rate for their properties are encouraged to make full use of the customer service program before submitting an appeal.
  2. All appeals must be in writing using this standard appeals form to assist the property owner. (If you have previously completed an Application for fee adjustment, you can submit that in place of the appeals form.) 
  3. Any request to the Director, Division of Water Quality (Director) that questions the accuracy of data held by the Urban County Government must include appropriate evidence to contradict that data. As necessary, that data must have been created or produced by a credible person or agency. The Director will determine credible sources of such data. Examples of acceptable data include the following items.
    • Requests based upon supposed property line errors or impervious calculation errors must include certified information from a land surveyor licensed in the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  Any submitted property line correction must show corrections to all of the property’s boundaries.
    • Requests based upon supposed ownership errors must include a copy of a deed that has been filed in the office of the Fayette County Clerk and is so noted.
    • Requests based upon a supposed reduction in impervious area due to structural demolition should include a copy of the demolition permit provided to the property owner by the Division of Building Inspection.
  4. All properly completed requests will be evaluated. The Director will review known information and will forward findings to the Commissioner, Department of Environmental Quality (Commissioner). The Commissioner will determine the government’s response. The Director and Commissioner will complete their review and determination within 30 calendar days of receiving the request from the property owner.
  5. Property owners who disagree with the decision of the Commissioner may appeal those decisions to the Water Quality Appeals Board (Board). The Board will meet quarterly, and its decisions are final. Appeals must be received no later than 30 days prior to a regularly scheduled Board meeting.
  6. No reduction in fee will be made until the review and appeal process are final. The process is final when either the property owner has accepted the Commissioner’s decision or the Board has concluded the appeal process. If either the review or the appeal finds in favor of the property owner, the Urban County Government will credit the property owner for the excess fee paid from the date that the request was received by the Division of Water Quality.
  7. Requests for adjustment that challenge the legality of the fee or other public policy issues will not be considered by the Director or the Commissioner.