When it rains, stormwater flows over driveways, lawns, streets, and sidewalks, and into storm drains that discharge directly to our streams, lakes, rivers and the ocean. As the stormwater flows along the ground, it picks up oil, trash, chemicals, dirt and other pollutants and discharges these pollutants directly into our bodies of water. These are the same bodies of water that we use for swimming, fishing, and drinking.
By practicing healthy habits, citizens can help keep common pollutants off the ground and out of our stormwater like:
- Automotive Fluids
- Pet Waste
- Yard Waste
Check out the provided information to find out what you can do to help keep our water clean!
Stormwater Pond Maintenance
Stormwater ponds are usually constructed during the development process to safeguard water quality by collecting and treating stormwater runoff and to protect against flooding. Well designed and maintained stormwater ponds are effective in reducing pollutants that reach our waterways. These stormwater ponds also serve as an amenity to the community and provide habitat for a variety of wildlife and vegetation. All stormwater ponds require maintenance and the homeowners association is often responsible for maintaining a neighborhood's stormwater pond.
If not adequately maintained, stormwater ponds can become an eyesore, breed mosquitoes, and create undesirable odors. Please refer to the Citizen's Guide to Stormwater Pond Maintenance (PDF) for maintenance information on these important features.
Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium
We are polluting our water a tiny bit at a time. Wastes from certain routine acts are picked up by rainfall and run through the drainage system into the streams and estuaries. Examples of how you can help are:
- Do not over-fertilize your lawn or fertilize before rain events
- Always pick up after your dog
- Never dump or allow motor oil or paint to get in drainage ditches or inlets
It's called "stormwater runoff" and is considered one of the worst water pollution problems in developed areas. Recent state monitoring has found trouble spots of pollution in tidal creeks feeding Charleston Harbor, largely due to runoff of those wastes from roads, rooftops, parking lots, and driveways. That's why 11 Lowcountry city or county officials have signed a joint resolution to form the Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium, to combine efforts educating people on how to minimize their impact on the waters.
The effort is mandated by the federal Clean Water Act, part of a larger regulation of utilities that manage stormwater drainage systems. The regulation has led to water and sewer customers being charged stormwater fees.
The sheer difficulty of trying to clean up a pollution source that flows from everywhere has made the regulations a daunting task. By pooling money, the utilities can run newspaper, radio, television ads, and other mass media spots to get the best bang for the buck.
The consortium will also coordinate school programs while offering more-specialized programs for groups such as homeowner associations and developers on topics such as low-impact development and wetland buffers. It will give members a sounding board for whether ideas like "pooper-scooper" ordinances will work.
SC Waterways Information Series
This is a new fact sheet that introduces property owners and managers to low impact development (LID) practices.