For volunteer opportunities or to report any type of pollution, contact the Stormwater office at 545-3524.
County Council Meetings: 5:30 PM, 2nd & 4th Tuesday of each month
SAVE THE DATE! The next Georgetown County Household Hazardous Waste Collection and Paper Shredding Event is scheduled for Saturday, October 20, 2018 at Palmetto ACE Hardware in Pawleys Island. It will start at 9:00 a.m. and end promptly at 12 noon. See you there!
'PAINT A RAIN BARREL FAMILY FUN DAY': The Stormwater Division has successfully met our goal this summer to have a rain barrel at each of the four different Libraries within the County. Each Library hosted a "Paint a Rain Barrel Family Fun Day" contest. In some cases, the mom and/or dad or grandparent participated with their young ones by painting a rain barrel that was constructed by staff or volunteers. Four or five painted barrels were on display at the Library for a week for the public to vote on their favorite. The winning barrel was placed at the Library in an area that would collect the most rain water. The winning family received another barrel to take home to paint along with some giveaways, most of which contain our message: CLEAN LAND = CLEAN WATER, compliments of the Stormwater Division. This fun and educational event was a great way to encourage people to help reduce the amount of stormwater runoff in their local community.
FREE Build Your Own Rain Barrel Workshop: We're looking forward to the next workshop sometime in the fall of this year where participants will enjoy a brief discussion on the importance of rain harvesting. After the education session the fun begins: build your own rain barrel and take one home! Stay tuned for further information!
•K-12: Using a Stormwater Model, students are taught the importance of keeping our land clean in order to help prevent stormwater pollution. Presentations are usually held at the Georgetown County Landfill or can be held at local schools. Call 843-545-3524 to set up a presentation.
Stormwater Advisory Committee (SWAC)
A committee of stakeholders formed to support the County's Stormwater Management Division on permit program elements and help communicate between the division and the overall community. A SWAC is an avenue for county residents, business owners, and visitors to address stormwater concerns, volunteer for community stormwater events, promote awareness of water quality, and provide overall support to the division for items such as variances.
Since June 2008, four teams of volunteers have been measuring water quality biweekly at eight sites in the Murrells Inlet watershed. The US EPA has been promoting volunteer monitoring since the 1970's for two reasons. First, it enables collection of data that most state agencies are too underfunded to obtain on their own. Second, it engages the community in a stewardship activity that promotes environmental awareness and responsibility.
As of 2006, the federal Clean Water Act requires the counties and cities in the Grand Strand to reduce polluted stormwater runoff by developing and implementing their own stormwater management plans. The US EPA recognizes volunteer monitoring as an important component of these local efforts. For this reason, the town of Surfside Beach, Georgetown and Horry counties are jointly funding the Murrells Inlet volunteer monitoring program.
The US EPA has provided comprehensive guidance to help volunteer monitoring groups. This guidance includes scientific information along with advice as to how to get data officially recognized and used by regulatory agencies. These guidelines were used in the design of the Murrells Inlet volunteer monitoring program. The US EPA's website on volunteer monitoring Is located at: www.epa.gov/owow/monitoring/volunteer/. Coastal Carolina University Waccamaw Watershed Academy Volunteer Program for Murrells Inlet website can be visited here: www.coastal.edu/wwa/vm/mi/.
When was the last time you noticed the local storm drain on your street? Many streets and parking lots have storm drains. These drains help remove storm water that might otherwise accumulate on these impervious surfaces and cause flooding. They almost always lead directly to local waterways, including streams, rivers and lakes without being treated to remove pollutants. Because storm water travels across streets, driveways, yards, or parking lots before entering a drain, it can accumulate contaminants such as oil, antifreeze, gasoline, soil, litter, pet waste, yard care chemicals, and yard waste.
If runoff from only one yard entered a local waterway through the storm drain, water quality might not be affected very much. However, when runoff from hundreds or thousands of yards or parking lots enters a waterway, the effect on water quality is more significant. Cumulative effects of polluted storm water from one community can cause beach closings, excessive aquatic plant growth, or degraded water quality which can affect fish and others aquatic organisms' survival.
You can help educate others about the fate of stormwater runoff through our storm drains by stenciling a message next to storm drains in your local area. Please contact our office if you would like to help!
Pet owners, take notice . . . When you clean up after your pet, do you dump the waste in the street or storm sewer? Do you leave it to decay on the sidewalk or the grass near the street? If so, you may be causing pollution or health problems.
According to recent research, non-human waste represents a significant source of bacterial contamination in local watersheds. Pet waste can also be a factor in eutrophication of lakes. The release of nutrients from the decay of pet waste promotes weed and algae growth, limiting light penetration and the growth of aquatic vegetation. This in turn can reduce oxygen levels in the water, affecting fish and other aquatic organisms. Pets, children who play outside, and adults who garden are most at risk for infection from some of the bacteria and parasites found in pet waste.
Georgetown County has placed six pet waste stations within the Murrells Inlet MS4 area in order to promote citizens to pick up after their pets and enhance water quality.
Rain Barrels or rainwater tanks are water tanks that are used to store and collect rain water runoff. These are typically used to collect runoff from rooftops via rain gutters. The main purpose of a rain barrel is to utilize the stored rain water for later use in gardens, for washing cars and even flushing toilets! Rain barrels greatly reduce the impact of stormwater on the current stormwater system and help reduce flooding in small areas. They also help the environment because rather than using tap water they use the stored rain water that otherwise would have just infiltrated underground. The county has worked with local schools and businesses to help install rain barrels across Georgetown County. We also host workshops where residents learn to build a rain barrel and then take it home.
Rain gardens have become a popular and attractive method for property owners to decrease the impact of their impervious surfaces. Rain gardens are landscaped depressions that receive stormwater runoff and allow the runoff to slowly infiltrate to the groundwater table, removing pollutants that otherwise would have affected the water quality of Georgetown County. The County has cooperated with local agencies and organizations to install a rain garden at Georgetown High School and at Morse Park in Murrells Inlet.
It's a Georgetown County public service program for volunteers to pick up litter along the County's drainage ways. It enables the county's environmentally conscious citizens to make a personal contribution to a cleaner environment.
Community groups, churches, individuals or businesses adopt a drainage way by picking up litter on both sides for at least two years.
Please contact the SW office for further details!
Water-Quality Monitoring Program Volunteers
Send a message about stormwater runoff.
Murrells Inlet pet waste station.
See the results of Grandpa Jessie and granddaughter Kaydee's summer project! They painted the rain barrel they received from Georgetown County Stormwater. The family plans to use the rain water for their garden and to wash their car - on the grass, of course!
See the view from the inside of a rain barrel. This is what one of our 'Paint-a Rain Barrel' Contestants wrote: We put one mosquito fish into our rain barrel because mosquitoes were hatching larvae. The fish has survived now for about a month and made it through the hurricane Florence. We stuffed the side hole with a plastic mesh onion bag. Since she has eaten all the mosquito larvae we feed her every few days. AGW