Implementation of the City of Ottawa’s new stormwater utility fee — set to go into effect Jan. 1, 2013 — has been delayed, city officials said Wednesday.

New upgrades to the city utility billing system are not in place and need to be completed before the stormwater utility can be fully implemented, Sam Davis, the city’s stormwater project specialist, said in a news release.

Davis estimated the earliest implementation would be April or May 2013. The city plans to notify utility customers when implementation will take place with notices on their utility bills, Davis said.

The stormwater utility is a new program intended to help fund stormwater infrastructure projects in the community and maintain compliance with Environmental Protection Agency regulations, a city news release said.

Development of the stormwater utility used recommendations from a Stormwater Task Force comprised of residents, non-profit leaders, small business owners and industrial facility representatives, Davis said. The task force’s recommendations helped develop a final proposal given to the Ottawa City Commission, which approved the utility and fee structure earlier this year.