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City Storm Drains, Pollutants & Flooding
Stormwater Mitigation: Storm Drains
Storm drain inlets in your neighborhood have been marked with a special marker to remind everyone that what goes down their inlet eventually ends up in the New River. A common misconception is that stormwater flows to our waste water treatment facility and is treated.
All stormwater actually flows from the impervious surfaces into a storm drainage system and into local ditches, creeks, streams and ultimately the New River. An impervious surface is one that water cannot seep through like a building structure, driveway or patio. Pollutants get collected when it rains and stormwater washes over streets, driveways and yards.
Motor oil from cars, yard clippings, pet waste, litter, lawn chemicals including fertilizer are among some of the pollutants that get picked up. All of this eventually washes into our storm drains which goes into the New River.
Simple Steps for Storm Drain Flood and Pollution Prevention
Remember that there is no treatment system connected to storm drains, they go directly into the waterway. They may go to a stream nearby that you enjoy, or right into the New River. Please keep debris, yard waste, trash and chemicals away from storm drains.
Sand Filters and Storm Drains
A sand filter is a surface or subsurface device that percolates stormwater down through a sand media where pollutants are filtered out. Sand filter effluent is usually discharged. Sand filters are capable of removing a wide variety of pollutant concentrations in stormwater via settling, filtering, and adsorption processes. Sand filters have been a proven technology for drinking water treatment for many years and now have been demonstrated to be effective in removing urban stormwater pollutants including TSS, BOD, fecal coliform, hydrocarbons and metals. Since sand filters can be located underground, they can also be used in areas with limited surface space.
Jacksonville has several Sand filter systems underground. Citizens and business owners should be aware that they are not to go into these systems in an attempt to maintain them. Only certified personnel are able to do so. Jacksonville Fire & Emergency Services works with the City Stormwater Division to get certified. Watch the video to learn more.
More ways to help prevent pollution:
- Properly dispose of Waste such as motor oil. Don’t put it down the storm drain. For disposal info call Sanitation at 938-5338.
- Use fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides sparingly and follow the manufacturer’s instructions. Do not apply before an expected drain event.
- Keep yard waste, trash and dirt off the street and out of the gutters. Don’t let it wash into waterways where it will clog the flow. It may even cause flooding!
- Clean up after your pets. Don’t let runoff from pet waste get into waterways.
- Don’t Flick Your Butt. Cigarette Butts pollute our waterways, roadways and carry harmful chemicals. Please extinguish and dispose of them properly in the trash.
- Wash your car at a car wash, or on the grass. Don’t wash your car on the driveway where the wash water runs into the street.
- Tell others what you have learned
For volunteer opportunities and for reporting illicit discharges: please call Habitat Protection Hotline at 910-938-6530 Or the stormwater manager at 910-938-6446.
Stormwater Education Materials
What Goes Down the Drain, K-5 (PDF)
Build a Rain Garden (PDF)
Jacksonville Watershed Map (PDF)
Rainwater Harvesting: Options for Stormwater Runoff
State of the River: Streets
Cigarette Butt Pollution
Environmentally Friendly Car Wash
North Carolina Stormwater Info