Customer Care & Operations
Impervious Area Charge
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Who to Contact With Questions or Comments
- Impervious Area Charge Incentive Program
In 2009, DC Water changed the way we calculate your sewer charges. DC Water lowered the rate for sewer service and included a special charge for properties that include surfaces water can't penetrate (impervious surfaces).
Impervious surfaces such as rooftops, paved driveways, patios, and parking lots, are major contributors to rainwater runoff entering the District's sewer system. They also add significantly to pollution in the Anacostia and Potomac rivers and Rock Creek.
The Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge (CRIAC) is a fair way to distribute the cost of maintaining storm sewers and protecting area waterways because it is based on a property's contribution of rainwater to the District's sewer system. Because charges are based on the amount of impervious area on a property, owners of large office buildings, shopping centers and parking lots will be charged more than owners of modest residential dwellings.
All residential, multi-family and non-residential customers are billed for CRIAC. The FY 2016 approved monthly CRIAC is $20.30 per equivalent residential unit (ERU).
Frequently Asked Questions
The Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge is part of DC Water's investment in reducing pollution in the Anacostia and Potomac rivers and Rock Creek. The charge applies to all lots, parcels, properties and private streets in the District of Columbia.
What is a Clean Rivers Impervious Area Charge (CRIAC)?
The CRIAC is based upon the amount of impervious surface on your property. An impervious surface is a man-made surface that cannot
be easily penetrated by water, such as
- tennis courts,
- swimming pools,
- parking lots,
- and other paved or covered areas (regardless of materials used).
Impervious surface areas are a major contributor to rainwater runoff entering the District's sewer system and pollution entering area waterways.
- Why is the CRIAC necessary? The charge is necessary to recover the costs of the $2.6 billion federally mandated Clean Rivers Project detailed in the "What We Do" area of this site. The 20-year plan will reduce the discharge of excess flows into local waterways from DC Water combined sewer system.
- Why did DC Water decide to defray the costs of the Clean Rivers Project in this manner? The DC Water Board of Directors determined that the CRIAC is a more equitable way to recover the costs of the Clean Rivers Project than the volumetric charge (for water used), because the CRIAC is based on a property's contribution to rainwater runoff.
- How is the amount of the charge determined? The charge is based on an Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU). An ERU is a statistical median of the amount of impervious surface area in a single-family residential property, measured in square feet. The FY 2016 approved monthly ERU value is $20.30.
Why did DC Water develop a Tiered Rate structure for residential customers?
The tiers were developed in order to bill residential customers more equitably, based on the size of their properties.
- If I do not agree with the square footage for which DC Water is billing me, how can I appeal? You may follow the bill dispute process located on the back of your bill.
- How was the square footage determined for my property? It was measured using the geographical information system data from DC GIS and Office of the Surveyor.
- Is there a discount for residents who implement measures to mange and/or reduce wet weather runoff? To apply for the IAC Incentive Program, and receive more information on the District Department of Environment's Riversmart Rewards Program, visit their website here.
Residential Customers: Beginning in FY 2011, all residential customers will be assessed ERUs based upon the amount of impervious surface on their property and the following six-tier rate structure:
|Impervious Area (Square Feet)||ERU||ERU Rate||Monthly Cost|
|11,100 and more||13.5||$20.30||$274.05|
All nonresidential customers are assessed ERUs based on the total amount of impervious surface on each lot.
If You Have Questions or Comments
810 First St., NE, Suite 1100
Washington, DC 20002