What is Stormwater?
Stormwater is the runoff from rain storms that falls onto buildings and collects
in puddles, ditches, and runs off into storm drain systems, ponds, streams, etc.
What is a watershed?
A watershed is the entire water source that feeds an area. For instance, you may
live on or near Swift Creek, which in turn feeds Black Creek. Black Creek flows
to the Big Pee Dee River, which flows into the Atlantic Ocean through the Intracoastal
Waterway. If the watershed becomes polluted, then swimming, fishing, and even drinking
water will be contaminated.
If you swim in it, you could get sick or a rash. If you eat fish out of it, you
might get very sick. Ever tried drinking water that had animal waste in it? Yuck!!
The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) advocated Congress to pass
a set of laws regarding Stormwater management, known as the Clean Water Act. These
laws tell state and local governments to protect the waterways and watersheds from
further pollution, and to fight the pollution that is currently there.
The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has come
up with guidelines for accomplishing this goal. Darlington County is responsible
for managing Stormwater in some of the watershed(s) which run through or touch Darlington
County. Darlington County Council has adopted a Stormwater Ordinance that provides
laws surrounding Stormwater pollution and management in a designated district. These
laws are designed to protect our natural resources, often using natural means to
So what is the big deal? Why is stormwater important to me?
When it rains, it pours, literally. As rainwater collects and drains, it pulls
pollutants into our storm drain systems and waterways, leading to watershed and
wetlands contamination, as well. Fishing, swimming, and drinking water are all compromised
with pollutants such as oil, pesticides, and animal waste.
What can I do?
Little things you can do:
There are little things we can do each day to make a difference and give us clean
water for drinking and playing. Managing the first inch makes a big difference.
There are eco-friendly projects that are easy, fun, and will help you make a difference.
See the list below and follow the web links on this page's left column navigation to get more ideas!
Things to look for - if you see anything the conditions listed below, or anything
else that you may wonder about, please call the Stormwater Pollution Prevention
Hotline at 843.398.4610, Monday through Friday, 8:30 a.m. until 5:00 p.m.
- Host a Rain Garden or Rain Barrel presentation through
- Plant trees, shrubs, and flowers.
- If you are doing any landscaping, then use riparian buffers or silt fencing to keep
the dirt and sediment from running into the ditches.
- Pick up Pet Waste, keep reclosable plastic bags within reach.
- Teach your friends and neighbors about water pollution and watershed protection.
- Learn what watershed you live in.
- Recycle! Reduce! Reuse! Close the loop.
- Buy a rain barrel, filter the water, and use it to water your plants.
- Dispose of oil, batteries, and brown and white goods properly at the Recycle Stations.
- Wash your cars with eco-friendly products.
- Make it a practice to think Would I want to drink this water? Even bottled
water has to come from somewhere.
- Liquid coming out of pipes in the ground on a sunny day when we have had no rain.
What color is it? Is it foamy? Does it smell or stink?
- Trash in swales and in storm drains. Yard debris.
- Leaky septic systems.
- Leaky sewer systems.
- Manhole covers or storm drain covers that have gross-looking stuff coming up out
- Oil or colorful or smelly liquids draining into storm drains.
- Places at construction sites or landscaping areas where dirt and sediment is headed
for the road and storm drains, creeks, or rivers.
- Drainage ponds that have stuff over-growing in them.
- Areas of trash that need to be cleaned. Also, trash in ditches blocks the
free-flow of water and carries bacteria.