Frequently Asked Questions?
1. What is stormwater?
Stormwater is runoff from rain or melting snow that "runs off" across the land instead of seeping into the ground. This runoff usually flows into the nearest stream, creek, river, lake or ocean without being treated in any way.
2. Why do we need to manage stormwater?
Answer...As the saying goes, "we all live downstream." Polluted stormwater runoff is the number one cause of non-point source water pollution in North Carolina! It is much more expensive to clean up polluted water for drinking than it is to use clean water. Furthermore, too much sediment and fertilizers cover up fish habitats and can cause algae blooms which use up the oxygen the fish need to survive.Increased quantities of stormwater also pose a major problem in urban areas. Stormwater cannot infiltrate impervious surfaces such as roads, roofs, parking lots and driveways so it runs quickly into the storm drain or stream. This high volume of fast-moving water picks up more dirt, grass, pet waste and chemicals and washes these pollutants directly into our streams....Close
3. Aren't sewers and storm drains the same thing?
Answer...No. They are two separate systems. Wastewater from homes, industries, etc. travel through the sewer system and are treated at sewage treatment plants before being reused or discharged into water bodies. Stormwater runoff that enters the storm drain system flows directly into creeks, streams, rivers and lakes without any treatment. ...Close
4. What is an "illicit discharge"?
Answer...Any illicit discharge is any unauthorized discharge that contains anything other than stormwater, unless it is specifically exempt. Illicit discharges include pollutants dumped directly into the storm drain or illegal connections to the storm sewer systems (such as a commercial floor drain or washing machine). The most common types of discharges specifically exempt from regulation include landscape irrigation or lawn watering, air condition condensation pumps, non-commercial washing of vehicles including charity car washes, firefighting activities, etc....Close
5. What is the Phase II stormwater program?
The federal Clean Water Act requires cities and towns across the US to take steps to reduce polluted stormwater runoff. The first phase of this program addressed large cities. The second phase, "Phase II", requires medium and small cities within urban areas to reduce stormwater. The program, which is administered by the North Carolina Division of Water Quality, has 6 major components:
(1) Public education and outreach
(2) Public involvement and participation
(3) Illicit discharge detection and elimination
(4) Controlling construction site runoff
(5) Controlling post-construction runoff
(6) Good housekeeping for municipal operations
6. How can I learn more about stormwater or become more involved?
For volunteer opportunities in the Town of Maiden. Send email to:
Town Planner Sam Schultz.
Other Stormwater Resources:
There are many internet resources on the web to help you learn more about stormwater. Please follow one of the links below:
NC Department of Environmental and Natural Resources Stormwater Website www.ncstormwater.org
NC Cooperative Extension Service www.ces.ncsu.edu
US Environmental Protection Agency Stormwater Website www.epa.gov/ebtpages/watestormwater.html