What is stormwater and why does it matter?
Stormwater is the runoff that occurs over land, roads, parking lots, and other surfaces during and after rain. If it rains hard enough, water cannot be absorbed into the ground and instead flows over the surface, where it picks up dirt and pollutants. Eventually, this water makes it into streams, rivers, and lakes with everything it picked up along the way. These materials can be harmful to the water quality in these water bodies. Stormwater drains and ditches along the roadside are meant to control the flow of stormwater and keep it from picking up too many dangerous materials.
The Town of Butner is in the watershed for Falls Lake which means that rain and stormwater in Butner and southern Granville County drains to Falls Lake. Falls Lake is also a drinking water supply. The EPA and State have identified Falls Lake as being an impaired waterbody (Clean Water Act Section 303(d) list), relative to its intended use as a drinking water supply, due to nutrients being deposited by runoff (nutrient loading). As a result of this determination, the State has mandated a set of rules, the Falls Nutrient Management Strategy also called the Falls Rules. As with other areas around the state and country facing water quality concerns, it has become the responsibility of those jurisdictions contributing to nutrient loading to limit their negative environmental impacts. Instead of waiting on the federal government to impose one-size-fits-all clean up requirements upon the areas that drain to the lake, Falls Watershed jurisdictions, stakeholders, and state regulators worked together to formulate our own strategy. The jurisdictions have been working with one another and the state for the last five years to negotiate the most favorable rules possible, which were then made effective by the NC Rules Review Commission on January 15, 2011. The rules affect new and existing development, agricultural, sewer, and septic treatment and discharge throughout the watershed. The proposed timeline should have the Lower Falls Lake (near Raleigh’s water intake) in compliance within 10 years and the entire lake in compliance within 20 years. The Falls Rules are very stringent, but they are a better alternative than the federally-imposed plan, called a Total Maximum Daily Load, or TMDL.
As a result of the Falls Rules, the Town of Butner has teamed up with Granville County, Person County, City of Creedmoor and Town of Stem to form a regional organization for stormwater management. This organization is the Granville-Person Stormwater Management Services.
For more information please click on any of the following links:
Falls Nutrient Management Strategy website http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/fallslake/home
Link to DWQ BMP Manual: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/wq/ws/su/bmp-manual
Link to Falls Lake Rules Interactive Mapping Tool: http://portal.ncdenr.org/web/fallslake/map
Link to Upper Neuse River Basin Association: http://www.unrba.org/
Butner regulations for stormwater for new development or redevelopment are located in the Land Development Ordinance, Article 15