In Philadelphia, every non-residential property is billed for stormwater based on how much of its surface drains into sewers when we get precipitation.
Parcel Viewer, a web app that lets you see exactly which areas of a property are contributing runoff to sewers, recently underwent a major overhaul that makes understanding water bills easier and puts options for lowering non-residential stormwater charges right at your fingertips.
If you pay non-residential stormwater fees, you can use the newly improved tool to see how your bills are calculated and determine if an appeal may lead to savings.
The app also makes it easier to explore options for credits that can lower costs.
New Parcel Viewer features include:
- A fresh, modern look and design
- A welcoming landing page with helpful information about PWD’s stormwater charge
- Improved map and property search
- Mobile-device compatibility
- Updated aerial photos
We want customers to review their property and file an appeal if they believe there is an error. Think you might need to correct a mistake? Get details about the stormwater appeals and downloadable appeal applications here.
“This web resource is something that our customers really appreciate because it makes the process we use when assessing stormwater fees transparent and accessible,” says Stormwater Billing & Incentives Program Manager Erin Williams. “With the 2019 update, it’s even easier to use and we really focused on a design that makes taking action a natural next step if you want to apply for credits or even consider funding green infrastructure improvements with our grant programs.”
About Parcel Viewer
Parcel Viewer became available to the public in 2010 when parcel-based stormwater billing was introduced to more accurately reflect costs associated with large, impervious areas. Stormwater fees support the City’s infrastructure investments needed to meet federally mandated pollution reduction goals.
Using Parcel Viewer:
Users can enter an address, an account number or search an interactive map to find detailed data about the types of surfaces found on every parcel in the City of Philadelphia.
For each non-residential parcel, which can include properties ranging from strip malls to synagogues to sports stadiums, the site shows:
- Gross area of the entire parcel.
- Which parts are classified as impervious area – surfaces that don’t soak up stormwater.
- How these characteristics impact the stormwater fee.
- The total monthly stormwater fee.
Also listed are any existing credits that are applied to the parcel. These discounts are offered by the Water Department to incentivize on-site stormwater management using green infrastructure or to reduce costs for certain customers.
Information and resources needed to start applications for the credits are provided alongside data about the parcel. Because the aerial photo map shows which areas of a property are impervious, it allows businesses and organizations to consider where grant-funded green infrastructure upgrades could be constructed.
If you are interested in that option, use the Credits Explorer app to sketch out green stormwater tools on parcel maps to see the stormwater benefits and potential savings.
As of 2018, about $90 million in grant funding from the Water Department has encouraged green stormwater improvements at +160 non-residential properties in the city, including schools, nonprofits, and faith-based organizations.
About Stormwater Billing
All properties in the City of Philadelphia are assessed a monthly fee to recover costs associated with managing stormwater. The amount charged for stormwater on a monthly bill depends on the type of property.
Property types are based on an individual property's use and not on its zoning classification. PWD gets property use information from the Office of Property Assessment (OPA). Residential customers pay a standard flat rate based on the average property size and average impervious area on all residential properties throughout the City.