Public Works & Utilities

Storm Utility Billing

The City of Duluth Stormwater Utility fee was developed and established in 1998, as a method to provide dedicated funding to the City’s stormwater system.

Everyone who owns developed property in Duluth pays for this service. Only public right-of-way’s, airport runways and taxiways are exempt from utility fees. The storm fee appears on your monthly Comfort System’s utility bill.

Your monthly stormwater utility fee helps pay for Duluth’s stormwater management system. The stormwater management system does the following:

  • Operate and maintain Duluth's stormwater collection system infrastructure.
  • Minimize flooding risks to streets, private/public properties, and impacts to infrastructure.
  • Protect our natural water resources from the impacts of stormwater discharges.
  • Ensure Duluth stays in compliance with the City's Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) Permit set by the Minnesota Pollution Prevention Control Agency (MPCA).  
    1. Provide public education and outreach.
    2. Provide public participation/involvement to give a voice to the public concerning their local Stormwater Pollution Prevention Program (SWPPP).
    3. Find and remove illicit connections to the storm system.
    4. Construction Site Stormwater Control.
    5. Ensure maintenance of structural stormwater best management practices (BMPs).
    6. Pollution prevention.
Single-Family Dwellings
Two-Family Dwellings
Manufactured Dwellings
Apartment Buildings
Senior Housing
Assisted Living
Long Term Rentals
1 - 3 Unit Short Term Rentals

*Property that has a mixture of residential and nonresidential uses are considered nonresidential.*

Residential properties are billed based on the number of Equivalent Residential Units (ERU)s on a property. One ERU equals 2,228 square feet of impervious surface. 2,228 square feet is the average impervious surface area in Duluth for a residential dwelling unit. All residential buildings are billed 1 ERU per living unit/dwelling unit. You can find the current utility rates on the Comfort Systems website here.

Nonresidential (Examples)
Theatres Detox Centers
Dining & Drinking Jails, Prisons
Auditorium, Gyms, Museums Daycare Facilities
Arenas, Stadiums Retail
Offices Hotels, Motels
Educational Institutes 4+ Unit Short Term Rentals
Clinics, Hospitals Storage
Nursing Homes, Memory Care Parking Garages, Ramps
Automobile Services Cemeteries
Industrial Uses Mixed Uses
Uses not classified as residential  


Nonresidential (commercial/industrial) properties are billed based on the total square footage of impervious surface on the property. Impervious surfaces include, without limitation, roads, parking lots, rooftops, buildings or structures, sidewalks, driveways, and other surfaces which prevent or impede the natural infiltration of stormwater runoff which existed prior to development.

The total impervious square footage of a nonresidential property is then converted to ERUs by dividing the total impervious square footage by 2,228 square feet. 2,228 square feet is the average impervious surface area in Duluth for a residential dwelling unit. For example, Duluth Fire Station 7 has a total impervious surface of 23,956.79 square feet. 23,956.79 sq. feet/2,228 sq. feet per ERU = 10.75 ERUs. Each ERU is billed at $9.29.  You can find the current utility rates on the Comfort Systems website here

Nonresidential property may be eligible for a utility fee adjustment, for more information please visit the Nonresidential Storm Utility Credit Webpage. 

Storm Utility Billing Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)