Public Participation & Involvement
This component of the SWMP mandates that York County provide opportunities for public involvement and participation in the stormwater program and related stormwater activities. In partnership with the York Soil and Water Conservation District, York County invites all citizens to participate in various activities and events relating to water quality preservation and education.
For more information on volunteering with the South Carolina Adopt-a-Stream program or any of the other programs described below, contact the York County Stormwater Compliance Coordinator, at (803) 909-7115.
York County is a participating community in the South Carolina Adopt-a-Stream program, as sponsored by the Clemson University Center for Watershed Excellence and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control. The South Carolina Adopt-a-Stream program creates a network of watershed stewardship, engagement, and education through involvement. Program goals include increased citizen awareness of water quality issues, training of citizens on how to monitor stream health, and involvement of citizens in efforts to reduce the amount of trash in and along our waterways.
The South Carolina Adopt-a-Stream program and York County are in need of volunteers who can play an important role in monitoring and tracking water quality while sharing information about local water resources with their communities. In providing baseline information about stream conditions, volunteers, local communities, educators, and local government agencies can partner to protect and restore our waters. You do not need to be an environmentalist, fisherman, or scholar to join this effort. All are welcome to find out more information, seek training, and add to the knowledgebase of river health in South Carolina!
It’s so easy! Make a commitment!
- Decide as a group that you want to see a section of stream kept clean.
- Select from your group one or more Adopt-a-Stream Coordinators.
- Your Coordinator will attend training, learn Adopt-a-Stream protocols and then assist your group with implementing them.
- Conduct annually:
- One “Stream Walk” (This is a quantitative visual assessment of stream health.)
- Two stream clean-ups per year
- Pick a section of a stream that you would like to keep clean and adopt it.
- Come with your family or gather your friends, coworkers, or associates and become a member of the Adopt-a-Stream Program!
- Training will be provided on how to conduct ongoing monitoring of the health of your adopted stream section along with how to conduct a safe and successful cleanup.
- We will provide supplies including gloves, safety vests, bags and even pick up all your bagged trash.
Contact the York County Stormwater Compliance Coordinator, at (803) 909-7115 or visit the SC Adopt-a-Stream Program through Clemson University. Your Adopt-a-Stream contact will ask you for the following information:
- Group name (example: Willow Heights Homeowner’s Association)
- Name of Group Coordinator (Each group should select a Coordinator that will be responsible for attending the training & organizing monitoring & clean-up events.)
- Coordinator’s address, telephone, and e-mail
- Location of stream section that you wish to adopt
- Name to appear on adoption sign
Benefits of Joining
The Adopt-a-Stream Program can benefit local communities through:
- Litter-free waterways
- Awareness of your watershed
- Training on how to monitor the health of your stream
- Recognition of your group on an Adopt-a-Stream sign
- Certificate of appreciation
A rain barrel is a used to harvest the rain water that drains off your roof to water your plants, flowers and gardens. Rain water that falls onto your roof usually flow through your yard, washes into the street and eventually flows into the storm drainage system. By collecting this water, you are able to use this water to irrigate your plants, flowers and gardens. Rain barrels can also be arranged to slowly release the collected rain fall to areas that can soak up the water, reducing storm water runoff and increasing groundwater recharge.
- Rain barrels conserve water and help lower costs (a rain barrel can save approximately 1,300 gallons of water during peak summer months).
- Rain barrels reduce water pollution by reducing storm water runoff, which can contain pollutants like sediment, oil, grease, bacteria and nutrients.
- The good news is that rain barrels are inexpensive, easy to install and easy to operate and maintain. Ready-made rain barrels can be purchased from local suppliers or online.
- As the water collected in the rain barrel is coming off a roof, into gutters and down downspouts, it is not considered to be "drinkable" or potable water.
- Remember, birds and animals are also on the roof. So, water from the roof can contain bacteria and other disease-causing organisms from bird and other animal waste that might be on the roof.
- How you use this water in your garden and the type of plants you use it on is an important consideration. Rain barrel water is fine if used to water non - edible plants - like flowers or lawns.
Rain gardens are landscaped depressions that receive stormwater runoff and allow the runoff to slowly infiltrate to the groundwater table. They can also be used to deal with flooding problems and low areas. Rain garden slow down the flow of water and hold the water for a short period of time and allow it to naturally infiltrate into the ground. The plants use the excess nutrients for growth, sediment is trapped in the garden and biological processes remove pathogens.
Rain gardens combine natural physical, chemical and biological processes to remove pollutants from storm water. Because rain gardens utilize native species of plants which require less maintenance, less watering, and less fertilizers and pesticides. Low maintenance saves money! They can even solve some yard flooding problems.
Yes we said the "P" word. Why? Not only is it gross but it can contain many harmful microorganisms that can cause diseases. When the poop enters the lakes and rivers they can become contaminated and can make people sick. Also, as the poop degrades it can removes oxygen from the water and can kill marine life. One dog’s poop may not seem like much but imaging the entire neighborhoods dog poop entering your creeks and lakes. Do you want to swim in that?
Dog ownership can provide lots of love and companionship for a person or family. Walking a dog provides great exercise for the animal and the owner, but failing to pick up your dog’s waste is not only a public nuisance, it hurts the environment. The Environmental Protection Agency estimates that the typical dog excretes three quarters of a pound of waste per day—or 274 pounds per year! Pet waste is full of bacteria, viruses and parasites such as E.coli, fecal coliform, and roundworms. When pet waste is left on the curb or the side of the road all of the bacteria and viruses in that pet waste are picked up by rain water and washed down the storm drain into the nearest creek, river or lake. This makes the waterways unsafe for humans due to high bacteria levels.
Waterways in York County are impaired by fecal coliform bacteria, including but not limited to, Allison Creek, Breaverdam Creek, Crowders Creek, Little Allison Creek, Fishing Creek, Steele Creek, Torrence Branch Creek and the Broad and Catawba Rivers. Although these impairments can’t be attributed solely to bacteria from pet waste, it does play a part.
The solution is easy! Pick up the poop and throw it away!