In 2005, the state designated the Town as a Phase II National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Stormwater Program community. The Phase II permit has a five-year cycle, which was renewed in 2011 and is set to renew in November 2016.
As required by the permit, our Stormwater Program includes six (6) measures:
- Public Education and Outreach
- Public Involvement and Participation
- Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
- Construction-Site Runoff Controls
- Post-Construction Runoff Controls
- Pollution Prevention and Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations (training for staff managing Town-owned facilities)
Another aspect of the Town’s NPDES Program requires that we specifically address all receiving waters in our jurisdiction that have a federally established Total Maximum Daily Load. There has been a TMDL for Swift Creek since 2009. In addition to fulfilling the six minimum measures, we further support the health of Swift Creek by:
- Street sweeping in the Swift Creek watershed
- Increased illicit discharge detection and elimination inspections
- Ongoing implementation of the town-wide stream buffer program
- Encouraging the installation of rain gardens
- Inspecting and cleaning sanitary sewer
- Increased public education and outreach
In 1972, the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Program was established under the authority of the Federal Clean Water Act. The Phase I and II stormwater-permitted programs associated with NPDES were delegated to the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) for implementation. They are currently regulated by North Carolina Division of Energy, Mineral and Land Resources.
State of North Carolina Rules
State Stormwater Rules for controlling nutrients in the Neuse River Basin were developed as a result of algal blooms and fish kills in the lower Neuse River in 1988. The Neuse River Rules regulate agriculture, the preservation of vegetation along stream buffers, urban development and wastewater treatment plants. Cary's wastewater treatment plants have been upgraded to meet the Rules and the Town’s stormwater program fulfills the requirements of the Rules. The State has also enacted rules for the Jordan Lake watershed to help control nutrients discharged by wastewater treatment plants and new development stormwater runoff.
Billy Lee, PE
Stormwater Engineering Manager
Water Resources Department