The Drainage Utility Charge Viewer is a tool provided by the City of Houston’s Public Works and Engineering Department to facilitate the Verification, Correction, and Appeal process.

Beginning May 2011, each property user will receive a notification informing them of the drainage charge that they will be billed per year, beginning July 1, 2011, and for each year thereafter. Within 60-days of the date on the notification letter, users can conduct self verifications using this online tool or by using physical measurements methods, and submit a request for the City to conduct a verification and correction (if appropriate). To submit an online request for verification and correction, users will be required to provide their Drainage Account Number included in their notification letter. Please refer to the Notification Letter Mail out Schedule for the date your notification letter is scheduled to be mailed.


Locating your Property and Drainage Charge

You can locate your property and drainage utility charge by entering the property address, property id, or nearby intersection into the View field.

When searching for a specific location, you'll have the best chances of finding it by formatting your search like this:

"Address, city, state' or 'Address, city, ZIP"

For example, "901 Bagby, Houston, TX," or "901 Bagby, Houston, 77002."

Intersections or street names can also be used.

When using property numbers, make sure the leading “0” is included and trailing spaces are not included.

Hide Menu and Show Menu

Click the side menu tab to hide and show the menu. The map feature works better when you collapse the menu to allow full screen map view.

View your Drainage Utility Charge

The tool will indicate the located property with a red place marker icon.

Click on the property marker icon to view the drainage charge information.

The property drainage charge pop-up include three information tabs: 1) Charge Information 2) Google Street View and 3) Help on field definitions.

The Charge information tab includes property information and utility charge determination information.

The Street View in Google Maps lets you verify your property through 360-degree street-level imagery.

To rotate your view in Street View,

use the wheel in the control panel in the top left corner

Or click and drag with your mouse.

To walk down a street,

click on one of the white arrows overlaid on the street

To jump and view a place,

Click on the rectangular 'waffle' or circular 'pancake' shape lying flat where your mouse is pointing.

When there is a magnifying glass within the pancake, clicking it will zoom in on the current image.

To exit Street View, click

on the top right corner

Or zoom out to view the map.

The Help information tab provides definitions and explanations about the information in the Charge information tab.

Verify Your Charge

The controls in the top right corner of the map allow you to specify the map view.

Map: The Map view shows a map with a traditional depiction of roads, parks, borders, bodies of water and more.

Satellite: The Satellite view shows aerial imagery. To show street names and other information.

Impervious Surfaces:The Impervious Surface view shows the area determined by the City to be impervious used to calculate the property drainage utility charge.

Parcel Boundary:The Parcel boundary view shows the property area used to measure the total impervious surface area for the property.

Measure Your Impervious Surface

You can use the viewer to measure what you believe to be impervious surface area and compare your charge determination to the City’s charge determination.

Click the Measure button on the Viewer menu bar.

Use the Impervious Surface Calculator to measure the impervious area for your property.

Click the ruler icon next to the area that you would like to measure.

After clicking the ruler, the cursor icon will change an X symbol (“X marks the spot”).

Use this feature to measure a selected area by clicking the polygon points representing the impervious surface area.

Complete the measurement by reselecting the first point created in the polygon.

When this is complete a pop-up will appear with options to add to selected calculator field or clear and start over.

Repeat this process for each property measurement as necessary.

If you are measuring a Residential - Single Family property, select Open Ditch or a $0.026 rate if your primary drainage is into a drainage ditch vs. Curb and Gutter.

The calculator fills in your annual and monthly charges based on the measurements you provide.

You are eligible for verification and correction if your annual drainage charge determination is at least two percent of impervious surface or $3.00 more than the City’s determination, whichever is greater.


Submit a Request for Verification and Correction

To submit a request for verification and correction, click the Request for Verification & Correction in the Viewer menu bar.

A new window will appear. You must register the first time and then login with your userid and password.

Select the Drainage option in the New service request area.

Once there, follow the instructions to properly submit a Drainage Verification and Correction request.

Your Drainage Utility Charge & Property Information:

Property Location and Description:

The property location represents the property address information recorded by the county appraisal district for the selected property. The county appraisal districts for Houston include Harris Count (HCAD.org), Montgomery County (MCAD.org), and Fort Bend County (FBCAD.org).  

Appraisal District Property Number:

The property number represents the account number used by the county appraisal district for this property. This number can be used to find detailed information on this property in HCAD.org, MCAD.org, and FBCAD.org

Type of Property:

The type of property is primarily designated by the State Class Code assigned to the property by the governing county appraisal district.

Your Drainage Utility Charge Determination:

Exemption Status

NOT EXEMPT or EXEMPT The property exemption status is primarily determined by the Type of Property classification provided by the county appraisal district. Private property drainage exemptions will be verified and approved by City officials through the verification and correction process. Exempt properties include properties designated as:

  • SCHOOL DISTRICTS (as of 4/6/2011)
  • RELIGIOUS ORGANIZATIONS (as of 4/6/2011)

Primary Property Drainage Method:

The primary property drainage method is determined by the City based on the status of the street drainage method at the time of the annual charge determination. This designation only applies to properties designated as RESIDENTIAL – SINGLE FAMILY with OPEN DITCH DRAINAGE. These properties will be charge $0.026 per Square foot of impervious service. OPEN DITCH DRAINAGE means drainage primarily removed from a benefitted property by use of an open ditch or ditches.

Impervious Surface Area:

The Impervious Surface Area represents the total square footage of area within the property parcel boundary that has been compacted or covered such that it does not readily absorb water or does not allow water to percolate through to undisturbed underlying soil strata.

Drainage Rate Applicable to this Property:

The Drainage rate is $0.032 per square foot of impervious service for all properties except Exempt and Residential- Single Family properties that have open ditch drainage.

Annual Drainage Utility Charge:

The annual drainage utility charge is: (Drainage Rate X Impervious Surface Area)

Estimated Monthly/Quarterly Drainage Utility Bill:

The estimated monthly drainage utility bill is: Annual Drainage Utility Charge / 12 for drainage utility charges included on Water /Waste Water Bills and Annual Drainage Utility Charge / 4 for separately billed drainage utility charges not included on water/waste water bills.

Definition of Impervious Surface Area

Impervious surface means any area that has been compacted or covered such that it does not readily absorb water or does not allow water to percolate through to undisturbed underlying soil strata.  Surface materials considered impervious shall include, but not be limited to, bricks, payers, concrete, asphalt, compacted oil-dirt, compacted or decomposed shale, oyster shell, gravel, or granite, and other similar materials . Surface features utilizing such materials and considered impervious shall include, but not be limited to, decks, foundations (whether pier and beam or slab), building roofs, parking and driveway areas, sidewalks, compacted or rolled areas, paved recreation areas, swimming pools, and other features or surfaces that are built or laid on the surface of the land and have the effect of increasing, concentrating, or otherwise altering water runoff so that flows are not readily absorbed.

Learn how to save your measurement to submit with your request for verification and correction request!


Agricultural Commercial
Industrial Residential-Single
Higher Education Residential-Multi
Cemetaries Charitable Orgs.
Private Schools Historic
Religious Government
Undeveloped Undeveloped, Subdivided
Other Payment Locations

Utility Infrastructure

Water Lines Waste Water Lines
Storm Water Lines Hydrants

Map Types