Stormwater Management

 

Protecting People and Property from Harmful Stormwater Runoff

When rain hits any hard surface, such as your roof or driveway, it can't soak into the ground so it runs off your property. Uncontrolled runoff can lead to flooding, erosion and pollution problems. It is the City's job to help manage this runoff. The City's Stormwater Management Program is working to improve the Fort Worth stormwater system and educate the public about the dangers of flash flooding. The Stormwater fee you pay through your monthly water bill provides funding to accomplish our Mission to Protect People and Property from Harmful Stormwater Runoff, in the following ways: 

Pipes, channels, and other systems maintenance.
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existing systems of pipes
and channels to function
as designed.
Drainage construction and improvement
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drainage and reduce
erosion through
construction of projects.
Flooding and erosion hazards warning flashers.
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the public and property
owners of flooding and
erosion hazards.
Development and compliance review.
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development for
compliance with City
Stormwater standards.

 


 

Stormwater Management Program Documents

For more information on the Stormwater Management Program, read the following documents:

 Runoff Rundown Newsletter

 

 

 

 Flood Awareness Newsletter

 

If you have questions or concerns about drainage, you can:

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APP
Use MyFW App to report
flooding or clogged storm drains.
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CALL
City Call Center
(817) 392-1234
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EMAIL
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ONLINE

 


Protect What Matters

Floodplain Facts to help Protect You & Your Property from Harmful Stormwater Runoff.

 


We're Working for Your Protection

Planning and Spotlight tab icon Planning & Project Spotlight 

Hazard Road Overtopping Mitigation (HROM)

The City of Fort Worth's Hazardous Road Overtopping Mitigation (HROM) Program is an ongoing effort to identify hazardous road location due to flooding, prioritize them, and where feasible, develop solutions to make them safer. The HROM Program was created in response to life-threatening and fatal incidents associated with flood roads, usually at stream crossings.

HROM Fact Sheet(PDF, 2MB).      HROM FAQ's(PDF, 303KB)


Non-FEMA Flood Risk Area

Flood Risk Outside of the FEMA Floodplain

Cleaning blocked inlets by TPW crew

While FEMA maps flood risk along major streams and creeks, most reported flooding in Fort Worth actually occurs outside of the FEMA Floodplain, in what the City refers to as “Non-FEMA Flood Risk Areas”. The City has categorized Non-FEMA Flood Risk Areas into two categories. Areas where the City has evaluated the non-FEMA flood risk in detail are called “City Flood Risk Areas” (CFRA), and these will be used to regulate development in the future. In contrast, the non-FEMA areas where the City has less detailed mapping, called “Potential High-Water Areas” (PHWA), are used to warn about potential flood risks.

In order to better protect property owners in CFRAs from flood risk, the City is revising the existing Floodplain Provisions Ordinance and Updating the Stormwater Criteria Manual. Currently, our regulations do not require Stormwater review for land disturbance less than one acre. With a revised ordinance however, new development and re-development in CFRAs would be required to show they comply with Stormwater regulations, regardless of size. Recommended Council adoption of the updates is planned to go forward spring 2023. A phased rollout of mapping to help communicate flood risk outside of the FEMA Floodplains is planned this year:

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In the City of Fort Worth, there are more flood insurance policies and claims located outside FEMA floodplains than inside FEMA floodplains.

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Potential High Water Areas (PHWA)

Potential High Water Areas (PHWA) are Non-FEMA Flood Risk Areas caused by natural drainage patterns where flooding is likely to occur. The City of Fort Worth uses PHWA mapping as advisory areas to inform residents and developers about flood risk.


Flood Risk Letter

September 2022 Flood Risk Letter Mailed to CFRA property owners and renters.(PDF, 585KB)


Stormwater Management Program Master Plan

Cleaning blocked inlets by TPW crew

The Stormwater Management Program has completed an intensive, year-long effort to develop a strategic program master plan that is realistic, well-prioritized, and responsive to community needs. The overarching goal of this effort was to help ensure the optimal use of program resources to advance the City’s strategic goals and respond to community needs in each of the four primary program elements:

  • System maintenance
  • Flood/erosion mitigation
  • Flood/erosion warning and
  • Private development review

The plan also outlines formal policy guidance needs and identifies key considerations, which will be used in the future processes to develop each policy.

Stormwater Management Program Master Plan(PDF, 17MB)

The City Council has adopted the Stormwater Management Program Master Plan, which resulted from an intensive, yearlong effort to compile and understand lessons learned during the first 10 years of the program and to develop a strategic direction that is realistic, well-prioritized and responsive to community needs.

Video: Stormwater Master Plan Update


Program Background

The City of Fort Worth implemented a Stormwater Utility in 2006 to address a backlog of data and technology needs, fulfill maintenance obligations, and construct capital projects to protect people and property from harmful stormwater runoff. The first 10 years of the Stormwater Management Program have focused on assessing citywide flood risk and drainage system capacity, addressing many of the most hazardous flooding problems in the city, implementing a high water warning system, developing a work order system and maintenance program, and developing a basic inventory of the major components of the drainage system. 


Related Documents

Download the Floodplain Management Plan(PDF, 59MB), which has been approved by City Council. 

Main Report

View the Strategic Stormwater Management Program Master Plan Report(PDF, 61MB)

Stakeholder Meeting Information

Oct. 19, 2017

Stakeholder Meeting 4 (Oct. 19, 2017)

Aug. 3, 2017

Stakeholder Meeting 3 (Aug. 3, 2017)

Jan. 26, 2017

Stakeholder Meeting 1 (Jan. 26, 2017)


Linwood Neighborhood Flooding

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A neighborhood meeting was held on September 8, 2022, to discuss residents concerns about flooding in the Linwood neighborhood during the August 21-22, 2022 rain event.

For additional information, contact: 

Questions on Flood Mitigation, contact:
Justin Naylor, P.E. CFM, PMP
682-215-6547
justin.naylor@fortworthtexas.gov
Report Drainage Issues, contact:
Stormwater Customer Service
817-392-6261

Meeting Information


Cumulative Impacts of Development

Cumulative Impact BannerAll development within the City of Fort Worth requires local and state permits. Contact the City of Fort Worth’s Development Services Department at 817-392-2222 for advice before you build, fill, place a manufactured home or otherwise develop.

The zoning ordinance, Floodplain Provisions Ordinance and the International Building Codes have special provisions regulating construction and other developments within floodplains. Without these provisions, affordable flood insurance through the National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) would not be available to property owners in the City of Fort Worth. Any development in the floodplain without a permit is illegal. Such activity can be reported to the City Call Center at 817-392-1234.


Video: Cumulative Impacts

Two Types of Cumulative Impacts

The Stormwater team has been investigating reports of increased flooding associated with new developments that meet current requirements for no offsite impacts. Two case studies were recently completed to quantify the potential impact of increased impervious surface and/or reduced valley storage. Case studies were performed in:

• Central Arlington Heights and Linwood Bailey: older urban watersheds with underground storm drain systems experiencing increasing
amounts of impervious surfaces.
• White's Branch: a mostly suburban watershed draining to a natural stream-based floodplain with a loss in valley storage.

Cumulative Impact-Birdseye Banner

VALLEY STORAGE | Filling in the existing floodplain storage areas creates additional flooding to areas downstream.

White Branch Watershed Cover
White's Branch Watershed

Cumulative Impact Street Level Banner

IMPERVIOUS COVER | Every rooftop, driveway, and sidewalk that replaces a natural surface generates a little more stormwater runoff than before that adds up over time.
analysis-2-uban.pngCentral Arlington Heights and Linwood Bailey Watersheds
Central Arlington Heights and Linwood Bailey Watersheds

What does Cumulative Impact mean for you as a Property Owner?

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The Stormwater Management Division has begun sharing the results of the Cumulative Impacts analyses with internal stakeholders such as the Mobility: Infrastructure and Transportation Committee and the Development Advisory Committee. The Stormwater team will continue to work with departments like Zoning and Development Services and a stakeholder group made up of internal and external stakeholders.

The goal of the stakeholder and interdepartmental meetings is to enact effective policy changes to build upon existing land use and stormwater regulations and criteria to better protect people and property from harmful stormwater runoff.


Cumulative Impact Stakeholder Group Meetings

Meeting - Tuesday, June 20, 2023
- Meeting Video
- Meeting Presentation PDF

Meeting - Tuesday, April 18, 2023

For more information, contact...

Floodplain@fortworthtexas.gov 


Runoff Rundown

Floodplain Management Plan

The City of Fort Worth is working on a Floodplain Management Plan for the entire city. This will be the first part of a growing public planning and interaction program being led by the Stormwater Management Division.


Utility Fee tab icon Stormwater Utility Fee

Stormwater Utility Fee Credit Policy Link 

Stormwater Utility

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The stormwater utility is a monthly user fee that pays for maintenance, improvements to the stormwater drainage system and other stormwater program activities. This fee is similar to other utility fees for water, sewer, and garbage.

Why are properties in Fort Worth being charged a stormwater fee? Fort Worth is one of the fastest growing cities in the U.S. today, with a population predicted to exceed one million by 2025. This projected growth, coupled with a drainage system that is now decades old, presents new challenges and increased needs in order to control flooding and its impacts. In the past few years, eight people have lost their lives due to flooded roadways and over 300 homes and businesses have suffered major flood damage.

It is estimated that more than $1Billion is needed to mitigate flooding and high-water hazard areas and to improve maintenance. By providing a dedicated source of funds for these vital needs, the stormwater utility fee reduces the burden on city's general revenue bond program and tax revenue funds, and decreases the need for future tax increases.

Who is charged this fee? Owners of developed property in Fort Worth are charged a user fee for stormwater services. This includes residential property owners, businesses, apartment complexes, public facilities, city owned facilities and churches.

How is this fee determined? The stormwater fee is calculated based on the amount of hard surface on your property. If you own a single-family residence, your property is placed in one of four tiers depending on the square footage of your home. The fees effective January 2024 for single-family properties range from $3.31 per month for small homes with limited parking to $13.23 per month for large homes.

Each residence is placed in one of four tiers according to square footage. For example, a 1,600 square foot residential property falls into Tier 2 and is charged $6.61 per month.

Low Occupancy Billing Tier

Billing Unit – Equivalent Residential Units (ERU)

Billing
Basis

Monthly Rate, Effective
January 1, 2024

Tier 1

0.5 ERU

Up to 1,300 square feet

$3.31

Tier 2

1.0 ERU

1,300 to 2,475 square feet

$6.61

Tier 3

1.5 ERU

2,476 to 3,393 square feet

$9.92

Tier 4

2.0 ERU

3,394+ square feet

$13.23

High Occupancy Residential and Non-Residential Property Fees:

The city uses digitized aerial photography to measure impervious (hard surface) areas of every developed parcel. Non-residential and high occupancy residential fees are based on the amount of hard surface area on the property. Hard surface area includes buildings, sidewalks, driveways and parking lots. Hard surface area will be divided by the standard Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU) of 2,600 square feet to determine the number of billing units on the property. The number of billing units then will be multiplied by the standard ERU rate of $6.61.

For High Occupancy Residential/Non-Residential Property such commercial and industrial properties, the monthly rate is $6.61 per billing unit (2,600 sf of hard surface = 1 billing unit).

For example, the monthly fee for a commercial property with a total hard surface area of 25,000 square feet (.57 acre) will be $66.10, calculated as follows:

25,000 sq. ft. ÷ 2,600 sq. ft. = 9.6 billing units, rounded to 10 billing units, 10 billing units x $6.61 per month = $66.10 per month.

Stormwater Utility Fee Credit Policy

Credits are awarded to non-residential rate payers in the City for voluntarily implementing Stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs) to help reduce the amount of runoff and/or to improve the water quality of runoff from their property.  The credits are applied as percent discounts to the regular monthly stormwater fees.   The Stormwater Management Division administers this program, in which credits are available for the following BMPs. The percentages reflect maximum possible award for each category.

Credit BMP Category

Percentage

Zero discharge for 100-year event

80%

Extra flood storage on private property to relieve flooding outside their property in the public right-of-way

25%

Green-Infra structure practices

25%

Inlet trash collection devices

10%

Inlet markers with educational signs

$100/year for 40 markers; 50/year for 20 markers

Parking lot sweeping

Minimum 5%, maximum on case-by-case

Student educational for following SWM approved curriculum

10%

Credit for posting visible educational signage on premises

5%

Trash cleanup for participating in trash pickup events

10% per event up to 20% per year

Beneficial special measures for categories not itemized

Case-by-case

Applicants agree to the following conditions for participating in the program:

1). Credits are valid for a year and must be renewed annually,

2). Sum of credits, except for zero-discharge and beneficial special measures cannot exceed 40%,

3). Applicants submitting for detention or water quality facilities will need to submit a maintenance plan.  Applicants agree to their facility being inspected.

4). Applicants will need to self-inspect and submit annual maintenance reports.

For more information, contact: Ranjan.Muttiah@fortworthtexas.gov or by calling 817-392-7919.

View(PDF, 135KB) Stormwater Utility Fee Credit Policy.

      

FY24 Stormwater Utility Fee Increase

To help fulfill our Mission to Protect People & Property from Harmful Stormwater Runoff”, the Stormwater Program proposed a 15% utility fee increase for 2024, to be split 50/50 between drainage Capital Improvement Projects and Drainage Maintenance. The fee increase was approved by Council, effective January 1, 2024.

View(PDF, 926KB) to learn more of the benefits to the community and impacts to ratepayers.

View(PDF, 321KB) to read Frequently Asked Questions about the Stormwater Fee Increase. 




Customer Information

grn-hdr-bar.jpgCustomer Experience

orgn-hdr-bar.jpgKnow Your Flood Risks

  • Real-time statement: Know Before You Go: potential flood condition of streets near you.
    Real-Time Flood Map  

  • Understand potential flood risks to your property information.
    Flood Risk Viewer

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Find data about your address, including if your property falls within a regulatory floodplain or is in an area that is potentially flood prone.

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