Morganton's stormwater management program aims to reduce pollution that washes from buildings, pavement and other surfaces into the stormwater system and into the Catawba River. The City works to educate residents through utility bill inserts and other mailings, cable advertisements and the City Web site.
Stormwater is the No. 1 cause of water pollution
Stormwater is the No. 1 cause of water pollution in North Carolina. When it rains, the rain that runs across our yards and roads into storm drains is called stormwater. Storm drains carry untreated stormwater and whatever the water picks up directly to creeks, lakes and rivers.
If we want to keep our rivers and creeks clean, we need to keep chemicals, oil and other pollutants out of our storm drains. Stormwater is our biggest source of water pollution. And you're the solution now that you know where it goes.
Stormwater and You
Stormwater Pollution Solutions
Stormwater Poster 11x17
To learn more about stormwater, visit www.ncstormwater.org.
What should not enter a storm drain?
- Oil, antifreeze, paint, cleaning fluids
- Wash water from a commercial car wash
- Industrial discharges
- Contaminated foundation drains
- Cooling water unless no chemicals have been added and proper discharge permits are in place
- Wash water from commercial / industrial activities
- Sanitary sewer discharges
- Septic tank discharges
- Washing machine discharges
- Chlorinated backwash and draining associated with swimming pools
- Grass, shurbs and other yardwaste
- Pet feces
Ways you can help ...
- Never place anything down a storm drain.
- Reduce impervious areas so that rain can soak into the ground naturally.
- Conserve water.
- Use native plants.
- Limit the use of fertilizer and never fertilize before a rainstorm.
- CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR PETS. Morganton City ordinance requires owners to clean up after their pets on City streets, sidewalks, parks, public parking areas and other public areas. Residents should keep pets on their property or on a leash.
- Wash your car at a commercial car wash or where the water can soak into the ground.
- Reduce, recycle and reuse.
- Dispose of household hazardous waste properly.
- It is illegal to pipe downspouts into storm rains
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is Stormwater?
A. Stormwater is the flow of water that occurs immediately after rainfall or as a result of snow melt. When it rains, several things can happen to the precipitation. Some of the rain water is absorbed into the ground and some evaporates. The rest of the rain water that runs off land surfaces and impervious areas is Stormwater.
Hard surfaces – such as pavement and rooftops – are called 'impervious surfaces' and do not allow rainfall to absorb into the ground. When there is more hard or impervious surface in a community, there will be more stormwater runoff.
To keep stormwater from flooding roads and property, storm drain systems divert and carry and stormwater directly to streams, rivers and lakes.
Q. Can stormwater cause problems?
A. Yes. Stormwater picks up pollutants such as oil and grease, chemicals, nutrients, metals, and bacteria as it travels across land and carries it directly into our rivers and lakes. Unlike the water in sewer systems, stormwater is not treated before being released into rivers or lakes.
The federal Clean Water Act of 1972 focused initially on discharges from sources such as industrial and municipal wastewater treatment plants. Water quality studies have shown that more diffuse sources of pollution are also a problem. In 1987, Congress added requirements for non-agricultural sources of runoff, beginning with the largest cities and certain industries.
Morganton is covered under the second phase of the program, which is called the National Permit Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) program.