Stormwater

From Vision 2020


5.23  Carrboro should be proactive in managing its stormwater, promoting active maintenance of facilities, reducing impacts of increased impervious surface, and minimizing impacts on waterways.


**report flooding**

new Stormwater Management Utility and advisory commission

In the first half of 2017, the following activities related to stormwater management occurred. The Board of Aldermen:
1)  focused their annual Board Retreat on the topic of stormwater management;
2)  updated the Town Code to create a new stormwater utility; and
3)  formed a new Stormwater Advisory Commission.
In the remainder of Fiscal Year 2017/18, the following activities are anticipated:
1) the hiring of a Stormwater Utility Manager;
2) recruiting  members and initiating meetings of the new Commission;
3) presenting  service delivery management and funding structure options  for the utility to the Board of Aldermen.
The above links have additional details about the past, present, and future of stormwater management efforts in Carrboro. 

Defining Stormwater


Stormwater is the water running off developed areas during and shortly after rain. If it is muddy, has a film on it, or smells bad, it likely contains something other than what fell from the sky as rainwater. In fact, even if it is clear with no odor, it could still contain excess nutrients from a recent application of fertilizer, as well as residual herbicides or insecticides applied to plantings.  The increased quantity and speed of water running off can also adversely impact stream channels,  cause flooding, and limit groundwater recharge. 

managing Stormwater


The primary method to manage stormwater discharges during construction is by regulating the erosion.  In Carrboro, this program has been delegated to Orange County to implement.  The primary method to control stormwater discharges after construction is through the use of "stormwater control measures", or SCMs.  There are a variety of SCMs that include "structural" approaches such as ponds (wet and dry), wetlands, permeable pavement, cisterns, green roofs, and rain gardens as well as "nonstructural" approaches such as Low Impact Development  (LID), impervious disconnection, street sweeping, illicit discharge detection and elimination, and fertilizer management. Low Impact Development is a voluntary approach to stormwater management that can reduce infrastructure costs, increase lot values, and enhance water quality protection.  LID is being encouraged at the State level through a new policy and tools.

Much of Carrboro was developed before stormwater was regulated.  Retrofitting existing development is more expensive and difficult than planning for stormwater mitigation during new development. Nevertheless, when it comes to helping reduce the impacts of stormwater on our properties, creeks, streams, and rivers, there is a lot we all can do.