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Post Date:04/08/2019 4:25 PM


Garden City’s Drainage and Stormwater Program Is A Year-Round Effort, Not Just When It Rains!

Stormwater runoff is rain that flows across the land and impervious areas such as paved streets, parking lots and rooftops. Runoff picks up and carries sediments, nutrients, toxic substances, pathogens and other pollutants to ditches, streams, rivers, wetlands and coastal waters. These pollutants have the potential to harm aquatic life, impair our recreational uses such as boating, hunting or fishing as well as possibly pollute drinking water supplies.

Garden City is a leader in stormwater management and the only jurisdiction within Chatham City that has a stormwater utility to support its Stormwater Management Program and provides the necessary resources to protect our City’s coastal environment.

This short report highlights some of the accomplishments of the Stormwater Management Program from April 1, 2018 through March 31, 2019:

  1. Watershed Management Planning: The City of Garden City is extremely proactive in its stormwater management planning efforts for its residents to include planning for coastal resiliency. Through public involvement meetings and ongoing assessments of stormwater conditions, the general public is always welcome to comment on as well as recommend projects for future consideration.


  2. Stormwater Capital Projects: The City continued to implement stormwater management-related capital projects, including flood mitigation projects, low impact development (LID) projects, and stream stabilization projects. As stated above, Garden City is the only community in Chatham County to have a dedicated stream of funding for its stormwater program via a stormwater utility fee.


  3. Operations: The City maintains and operates its stormwater management facilities and stormwater drainage infrastructure in-house. The City also implements best management practices (BMPs) for guiding new development and redevelopment: operation of City roadways and parking areas; use of pesticides, herbicides and fertilizers on City properties; detection and elimination of sources of illegal discharges; spill response; controlling industrial and high-risk runoff; and construction site erosion and sediment control.


  4. Monitoring and Assessment: Did you know that the City is constantly looking for what is called “illicit discharges” into the City’s stormwater or drainage system? An illicit discharge in short is an inappropriate discharge and/or connection to a stormwater drainage system. Improper disposal of household toxics, through direct connections (e.g., wastewater piping either mistakenly or deliberately connected to the storm drains) or indirect connections (e.g., access into the storm system from being dumped directly into a drain). The result is untreated discharges that contribute high levels of pollutants to receiving waterbodies. Pollutant levels from these illicit discharges have been shown to be high enough to significantly degrade receiving water quality and threaten aquatic, wildlife, and human health.

The City will investigate any potential illicit discharges in accordance with the procedures in the City’s Illicit Discharge Plan. Suspect or obvious illicit discharges traced and to identify specific source(s) of contamination and should it be required; enforcement actions will be taken.

Additionally, the City of Garden City maintains a link on the City’s official website that allows for citizens and visitors to report concerns, including illicit discharges and illegal dumping. The link to this page can be found on the City’s home page at: Information received through the website is then referred to the appropriate department for investigation.

  1. Public Outreach and Education: The City continues to partner with schools and local organizations and neighboring jurisdictions to educate residents about water quality and encourage environmental stewardship. The City also promotes the Illicit Discharge process and weblink cited above during these same events.


  2. Strategic Initiatives: The City and its partners work proactively to improve the City’s stormwater management through the flood response program, MS4 program planning and watershed management planning.

Other City Projects & Accomplishments

Since 2016, the City has seen the number of service requests submitted by residents cut by more than 50%!  Garden City staff responded to 171 resident-initiated service requests and Public Works crews handled 1,390 Work Orders. That’s a lot of work being accomplished throughout our city every day!

Street Sweeping: Garden City’s streets are swept on a routine basis. During 2018, the City’s street sweeper swept more than 871 miles or roads to remove the sand and sediment before it entered the storm drains clogging ditches and canals!

Storm System Inspection and Cleaning: Storm drainage systems must be maintained to ensure proper function and performance. Catch basins, storm drain inlets, and other conveyance structures in high pollutant load areas are identified and cleaned before the rainy seasons to remove sediments and debris accumulated. During 2018, Garden City maintained almost 29,000 feet of ditches, and cut and maintained almost 420 miles of canals. WOW!

                 Drainage Pipe Repair Due to Root Intrusion

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