Spotlight on Cary – Stormwater Program of the Month!

Each month we will be featuring the outstanding work that our CWEP Partners are doing to keep our stormwater clean around the region and in your communities. This month we’re focusing on the Town of Cary as they strive to continue increasing public engagement and awareness of stormwater in their everyday lives!

In the Town of Cary’s continuing engagement with downtown stormwater stakeholders, staff gave a guided tour to about 10 citizens, including developers and downtown homeowners, to see real-life examples of stormwater management in practice and public-private opportunities. NC State University professor Dr. Bill Hunt was in attendance and provided valuable insights. In addition to the walking tour, attendees were able to see the new truck that is cleaning out stormwater drains in a Town of Cary pilot area as part of their proactive approach to maintenance.

DT Stormwater Tour 1

The tour infused plenty of Town technology by utilizing a stormwater storymap via iPad devices in order to supplement the talking points at each spot along the tour. The tour group was encouraged to share the walking tour and storymap with their social circles and continue using the features through the publicly accessible website. Since the tour, the Town of Cary has seen traffic to the storymap website double. Be sure to check out this cool technology and see photos of stormwater education in action!

Spotlight on Hillsborough – Stormwater Program of the Month!

Each month we will be featuring the outstanding work that our CWEP Partners are doing to keep our stormwater clean around the region and in your communities. This month we’re focusing on Hillsborough as they work to grow their stormwater education and outreach programs and maximize their impact with the community!

Stormwater Almanac

The Hillsborough Stormwater and Environmental Services division publishes a Stormwater Almanac quarterly, featuring educational articles and updates on Town stormwater projects. The most recent issue highlighted the Town’s stormwater retrofit that directed additional stormwater runoff to a bioretention cell in Cates Creek park.

CatesCreekParkRetrofit_NewInlet

Volunteers Help Maintain Wetland

Triangle Fly Fishers, a local fly fishing and conservation group recently completed maintenance at the Town of Hillsborough’s stormwater wetland located at Gold Park. Volunteers removed cattails, unwanted woody vegetation, as well as trash and debris. As part of the effort, Stormwater and Environmental Services Manager, Terry Hackett explained how the wetland functions to remove stormwater pollution which benefits the nearby Eno River.

StormwaterWetlandVolunteerMaintenance

Citizens Academy

Stormwater and Environmental Services staff presented to the Town of Hillsborough’s 4th Citizens Academy. The Citizens Academy is a 7-week long program aimed at helping citizens increase their knowledge of town government, as well as their interest and ability in influencing and participating in town decisions.  Staff provided an overview of the town’s stormwater program, including the town’s stormwater management utility and associated fee. Participants then had the opportunity to ask questions to gain more insight about the town’s efforts to reduce stormwater runoff pollution.

Earth Evening 2018

Every year on the Friday night of Earth Week, the division speaks with the public and leads hands-on activities for all ages during the annual Earth Evening event at the Market Pavilion in River Park, downtown Hillsborough. This event is organized by Orange County Department of Environment, Agriculture, Parks and Recreation. The division also leads similar activities at local schools throughout the year.

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SCM Recognition Program

The division is kicking off a recognition program for owners of Stormwater Control Measures (SCMs) this month. The town requires SCM owners to maintain their SCMs and submit annual inspection reports. The program will recognize those property owners who have exceptional compliance records and consistently maintain SCMs, following all applicable maintenance requirements. While recognizing deserving property owners, we also hope to achieve greater public awareness of our SCM inspection program.

For more information about the great work Hillsborough is doing, feel free to reach out to the Town’s Stormwater Coordinator Heather Fisher at 919-296-9622!

City of Raleigh 2018 Capture it! Stormwater Arts Contest Winners Announced

Congratulations to the City of Raleigh’s 2018 Capture it! Stormwater Arts Contest winners! Winners for the three categories below were announced at the 11th Annual Environmental Awards in March:

Video Winner – “Stormwater Video” by Ryann Bauguess, Rachel Young, and Kira Badrova

 

Check out the winning video below!

Storm Drain Stencil Design Winner  “All Drains to the Neuse” by Genna Stott

Storm Drain Stencil Winner 2018

Rain Barrel Artwork Design Winner – “Which Side are you on?” by Izabel de Angelo, Davis Lingle, Jonathan Clymer, and Taylor Gantt.

Rain Barrel Winner 2018

Spotlight on Durham: Stormwater Program of the Month!

Each month we will be featuring the outstanding work that our CWEP Partners are doing to keep our stormwater clean around the region and in your communities. This month we’re focusing on Durham and their longstanding Creek Week efforts, as well as their pledge to keep more plastic waste out of our waters!

There is a lot going on in March for both the City and County of Durham, as well as their many environmental partners in the community! Durham’s Creek Week has been an established event for the last decade, and each year it grows and evolves even more. In conjunction with this year’s Creek Week, there are lots of other great events, initiatives, and opportunities to get involved with cleaning up your environment and keeping our water safe. For a list of all Creek Week events, check out this website: Durham Creek Week Events Page.  Whether you’re interested in a litter cleanup event, planting a tree, or even a canoe paddle, you’ll definitely find something fun to do!

Skip the Straw!

More than 500,000,000 straws are used once and tossed every day in this country! Mayor Steve Schewel has proclaimed March “No Straws Month” in Durham: “Single use plastics that find their way onto our streets get washed through storm drains into local creeks and all the way to the ocean,” says Mayor Schewel. “Plastic litter is a roadside eyesore, and it also can be fatal to river and ocean animals.” To kick off the month, a screening of the environmental awareness documentary “Straws” by Linda Booker was provided at the Durham Arts Council on February 22nd – it was a packed house with help from Bull City Burger and Brewery, Pompieri Pizza, Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic, Keep Durham Beautiful, The City of Durham Stormwater & GIS Services, Don’t Waste DurhamCompostNow, and other local environmentally conscious businesses!

Check out the trailer for “Straws” and learn more about this plastic pollution!

Several restaurants, bars, business, and other entities have taken the pledge to reduce or eliminate straw use in their establishments – some bars have even permanently moved to using only metal or other green straws! If you want to challenge yourself to have an impact on this type of plastic waste (and we promise, it’s won’t be too hard!), take the pledge at the link below:

Take the Pledge to SKIP THE STRAW here!

Don’t Litter, Man!

Don’t Litter, Man Full Video

Local Durhamite Pierce Freelon leads a litter art and beats workshop for youth at The Scrap Exchange to show that litter goes all the way to the ocean. Check out this fun video and show it to your kids, classroom, or even your coworkers!

What Lurks Below

Last month, London sewage workers discovered an enormous greaseball blocking the pipes in the Whitechapel neighborhood, creating a nasty situation and limiting water flow. The ball, weighing 130 tons, took 3 weeks for workers to break down using high-pressure water jets. It was made of a combination of hardened grease and fat from food production as well as wet wipes, diapers, and other non-flushables that had been flushed down the toilet. Experts say that if the ball had not been caught when it was, waste could have started to burst from manholes and flow through the streets of London. Watch the London Fatberg in action here.

It’s not just London that’s in danger of having its sewage system ruined by improper waste disposal; many towns and cities may have greaseballs lurking beneath them, too! So how can we make sure our pipes are functional and our streets stay feces-free? There are many things we can do in our kitchens and restaurants to dispose of cooking grease, fats, and oils the right way and keep our pipes flowing smoothly, especially as the holidays approach!

  1. Make sure to let the grease cool before either pouring it in the trash or into a storage container.
  2. Once you’ve poured out the grease properly, make sure to wipe out your pots and pans with a paper towel to remove any grease that might be stuck to your cookware. Be sure to do the same with plates!
  3. Check if your municipality has a grease recycling program like Durham, which accepts and recycles cooking oil free of charge.
  4. As for toilets, remember that only toilet paper should be flushed. Most wet wipes are not meant to go through our pipes and sanitary napkins and tampons should never be flushed either. We are fortunate that our sewage treatments systems are top-notch, but that doesn’t mean we should overload them. When in doubt, throw it out!

 

Spotlight on Garner: Stormwater Program of the Month

Each month we will be featuring the outstanding work that our CWEP Partners are doing to keep our stormwater clean around the region and in your communities. This month we’re focusing on Garner, a tiny town with a huge commitment to stormwater management. Check out their unique solutions and exciting community events below!
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Volunteers Needed!

Help keep Garner Clean & Green!
 
Who: The Town of Garner
What: Semi-annual street and stream cleanup
When: Saturday, September 16 from 9-11am
Where: White Deer Park, 2400 Aversboro Road, Garner, NC 27529
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Breakfast, cleanup supplies, and water provided free of charge to all volunteers. Contact Jaclyn Sumner for more information about the event.

 
Did you know?
Town of Garner received the 2017 NC Source Water Protection Award of Excellence along with PEG Media partners, which help direct, film and edit all of Garner’s informative stormwater videos. Garner has been making these videos for several years, helping residents know what they can do to help keep our water supply clean and free from pollutants. Check out the videos at these links:
 
Water Quality:
 
Pet Waste:
 
Illicit Discharge:
 
 Little Town, Big Success
 
Garner prides itself on being a small town with a reputation for being customer friendly, but did you know they have a top-notch storm water program as well? For over 30 years, Garner has been performing stormwater management and watershed planning to protect local waterways and Lake Benson from pollutants and downstream flooding. New and innovative stormwater control measures have been designed and built on town properties and both new and redevelopment. This commitment to responsible stormwater management can be seen at parks such as White Deer and Lake Benson as well as on the new Town Hall campus.
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Help us keep up the good work by coming out to the semi-annual street and stream cleanup! We’ll be picking up litter that would otherwise flow into Lake Benson and pollute our drinking water. Contact Jaclyn Sumner for further information.
 
Questions? We’re here for you
For more information or specific questions, please contact Jaclyn Sumner, Stormwater Program Administrator in the Town of Garner Engineering Department (p) 919-773-4421|jsumner@garnernc.gov

Stormwater Program of the Month – Raleigh!

Each month we will be featuring the outstanding work that our CWEP Partners are doing to keep our stormwater clean around the region and in your communities. This month features the City of Raleigh Stormwater Management Division, which is part of the City’s Engineering Department. Check out their great programs and opportunities below!

Stormwater Monitoring Workshop

Discover Raleigh’s Streams This Summer!

Learn how you can explore and keep a stream in your neighborhood clean by taking part in the Stormwater Management Division’s upcoming Stream Monitoring Workshop on Saturday, Aug. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon at Walnut Creek Wetland Center, 950 Peterson Street, Raleigh.  You will learn four easy steps to collecting samples from a stream that will help the City of Raleigh track the health of local waterways. The workshop is free for Raleigh residents and includes year-long monitoring supplies. Learn more and register online at http://www.raleighnc.gov/home/news/content/CorNews/Articles/StreamMonitoring.html

Stormwater Video Award Winners

This year’s recipients of the City of Raleigh Stormwater Management Division’s Streams & Stormwater Video Competition were named at the 2017 Environmental Awards, a ten-year celebration of individuals and organizations who display a commitment to protecting the environment and promoting sustainability.

Congratulations to Julian Simoes (1st place – “Be the Change”); Chloe Wen and her classmates (2nd place – “Cup of H2O”); and Jacob Fletcher, Carla Fuller, and Anton Baeza (3rd place – “Chaplin’s Lament”)!

Stormwater Successes in Raleigh

The City of Raleigh is always advancing their stormwater management in innovative, effective, and sustainable ways. Here are some highlights of this great program!

  • The City’s Drainage Assistance Program plans to complete more projects over the next two years that address drainage concerns on private property. A recent policy change also eliminated the cost-share portion of the program making it more affordable for Raleigh residents.
  • The Capital Improvement Program will nearly $24 million worth of projects over the next year to offer sustainable stormwater infrastructures in Raleigh’s neighborhoods that reduce flooding and limit erosion.
  • Additional Flood Hazard Mitigation Efforts continue to remove and restore flood-prone properties that were built prior to the current floodplain development regulations. Restoring the area to green space improves public safety in flood-prone areas and once again allows for natural function of the floodplain.
  • Green Stormwater Infrastructure efforts continue to establish policies, procedures, and resources that will include Green Stormwater Infrastructure in new development and redevelopment and bring innovative stormwater treatment options to the City of Raleigh.

For more information or specific questions, please contact Kristin Freeman, Communications Specialist for the City of Raleigh Stormwater Management Division (p) 919-996-4128 | (c) 919-817-4594 | kristin.freeman@raleighnc.gov

 

 

How Washing your Car at Home Contributes to Stormwater Pollution

Check out this great video from Wellington Water in New Zealand about how to keep your car wash activities from polluting our water! All communities face the same stormwater challenges we do, so we can all learn from each other when it comes to cleaning up. Take a look and see what you can do differently this summer to reduce your stormwater impact, and tell your friends and neighbors when you see them washing their cars!

The Robeson Creek Watershed Council is back in action!

The Robeson Creek Watershed Council is a group of local citizens, government entities, and other stakeholders that originally met quarterly to discuss and implement plans to conserve and protect the Robeson Creek watershed. CWEP Partners including the Town of Pittsboro, Chatham County, and others support and are involved in this Council. Protection of the Robeson Creek area is an important component of the health of the Haw River, which is a main contributor to Jordan Lake. The group has not convened in recent years but has been rejuvenated with a great Council meeting on May 25, 2017.

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The team hopes to embark on many new conservation, rehabilitation, and watershed protection projects and goals moving forward. Check out the Robeson Creek Watershed Council brochure to learn more about the group, or follow them on Twitter at @RobesonCreek.