The Stormwater Issue
Stormwater is the number one source of water pollution in North Carolina. Stormwater runoff provides the transit for silt, oil, pesticides, animal waste, and other hazardous chemicals to flow directly into local waters, often with devastating effects. If the stormwater drainage system is not properly designed and optimally maintained the impact will be a further decline of water quality and irreparable damage to already critical ecosystems. However, there are a variety of measures – both large and small – that can have a tremendous impact on improving the quality of storm water runoff so that the effects of growth are minimized.
The Stormwater Solution
The single most effective way to address the problem is by using Best Management Practices (BMPs) to control stormwater runoff. The way you, the homeowner manages your yard, the ways that our businesses operate, and the ways that our community develops all matter!
By following the information provided by this website, you can play an important part in keeping our waterways healthy for all of us to enjoy.
How Can You help?
As Oak Island continues to develop, the percent of impervious surface will increase, driving more stormwater into the streets and adjacent bodies of water. With uncontrolled stormwater – and all the contamination that comes with it – it won’t be long before the delicate ecosystems are impacted even more (e.g., altered salinity, algal blooms, fish kills, etc.).
Considering a single wooded lot (e.g., 60′ x 100′) can be entirely cleared and replaced with a house and two-car driveway, that property can have upwards of 75-80% impervious surface when fully built. And if there is no break in impervious surfaces from the structure to the street, the stormwater can quickly add to the problem.
For example, one inch of rain from a 1,200 square foot area can generate up to 600 gallons of runoff. That means a 6,000 square foot lot built with 80% impervious surface, or up to 4,800 square feet, will create approximately 2,400 gallons of storm water runoff for each inch of rain. Multiply that by thousands of new homes in the new few years and you get an idea of the enormity of the problem.
As residents we are also responsible for environmental stewardship, particularly when it comes to managing growth. There are already a host of simple things that homeowners and businesses can do to improve both the water quality and reduce the amount of storm water runoff. That is what this website is dedicated to doing, providing the homeowner, business, and development community the latest information and tools on how to better manage stormwater as the island develops.