The stormwater drainage charge is shown on your monthly utility bill in the Drainage Service section. It funds the City of Austin's drainage utility mission and is authorized by the Texas Local Government Code.
The drainage charge was first adopted in 1982, the year after the 1981 Memorial Day Flood, which killed 13 people and caused $35.5 million in damage.
The drainage charge pays for a wide variety of programs to help with flooding, erosion and water pollution across Austin. Many projects and programs are working quietly behind the scenes to protect lives, property and the environment. Crews clean trash and debris from Lady Bird Lake, maintain our drainage infrastructure, and respond to more than 3,000 service requests annually. Staff respond to the pollution hotline about environmental spills and emergencies 24-hours a day. They coordinate numerous projects to help reduce the risk of flooding and erosion. Many of the programs, services and projects listed on the Watershed Protection Department web site are funded in whole or in part by the drainage charge and would not be possible without the charge.
Some projects that are funded entirely or in part by the drainage charge include:
- ATXfloods and closing of flooded low water crossings
- Restoration of the Shoal Creek Peninsula along Lady Bird Lake
- Boggy Creek Greenbelt Streambank Restoration
- Combating hydrilla on Lake Austin
- Buyouts of flood-prone properties