Preventing Stormwater Pollution

Pollution Prevention begins with properly identifying stormwater pollution and how to prevent its release. Homeowners and community organizations can properly excel at preventing stormwater runoff pollution through lawn maintenance, pet waste removal and even maintaining existing stormwater BMPs.

The majority of Urbanized Areas are provided with storm sewer infrastructure that collects stormwater runoff as a fast and effective way to alleviate flooding issues caused by the increase of runoff associated with these communities' impervious footprint. Unfortunately, these systems also provide a quick route for pollution to reach downstream waterways. Simple devices or actions can be implemented to keep polluted stormwater from reaching downstream waters in this manner.

Another practice that can aid in reducing the release of polluted stormwater is the implementation of Silviculture. Silviculture entails the reestablishment of forest areas in or around urbanized areas to help aid in the absorption of excess water and nutrients before being released into storm sewer systems. Many aspects of Silviculture work towards establishing a vegetative growth to a past or beneficial condition usually in way directed by the surrounding community.

Various Pollution Prevention techniques have beenprovided as additional resources below, in an attempt to aid in the establishment of proper stormwater management within all communities of South Carolina.

"Stormwater management is not soley the responsibility of engineers, developers, or regulators; its responsibility rests upon each and every individual who resides, labors, and interacts within the state of South Carolina. It is time to learn how to do your part in the effort to reestablish the pristine waterways that once flourished in South Carolina."

Lawn Care

  • Excess fertilizers and pesticides applied to lawns and gardens wash off and pollute streams. In addition, yard clippings and leaves can wash into storm drains and contribute nutrients and organic matter to streams.
  • Don't over water your lawn. Consider using a soaker hose instead of a sprinkler.
  • Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly. When use is necessary, use these chemicals in the recommended amounts. Use organic mulch or safer pest control methods whenever possible.
  • Compost or mulch yard waste. Don't leave it in the street or sweep it into storm drains or streams.
  • Cover piles of dirt or mulch being used in landscaping projects.

Septic Systems

  • Leaking and poorly maintained septic systems release nutrients and pathogens (bacteria and viruses) that can be picked up by stormwater and discharged into nearby waterbodies. Pathogens can cause public health problems and environmental concerns.
  • Inspect your system every 3 years and pump your tank as necessary (every 3 to 5 years).
  • Don't dispose of household hazardous waste in sinks or toilets.

Auto Care

  • Washing your car and degreasing auto parts at home can send detergents and other contaminants through the storm sewer system. Dumping automotive fluids into storm drains has the same result as dumping the materials directly into a waterbody.
  • Use a commercial car wash that treats or recycles its wastewater, or wash your car on your yard so the water infiltrates into the ground.
  • Repair leaks and dispose of used auto fluids and batteries at designated drop-off or recycling locations.

Pet Waste

  • Pet waste can be a major source of bacteria and excess nutrients in local waters.
  • When walking your pet, remember to pick up the waste and dispose of it properly. Wrap pet waste in a plastic bag and put it in the trashcan. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm drain and eventually into local waterbodies.


Stormwater Water