Land Development Division
According to the EPA, green infrastructure is a relatively new and flexible term and refers to systems and practices that use or mimic natural processes to infiltrate, evapotranspirate (the return of water to the atmosphere either through evaporation or by plants), or reuse stormwater or runoff on the site where it is generated. Green infrastructure can be used in place of or in addition to more traditional storm water control measures.
Green infrastructure emerged as an alternative approach to storm water management in the early 1990’s. It allows more water to soak into the ground than traditional drainage infrastructure.
Research finds that GI helps restore and recharge groundwater by reducing pollutant discharges to receiving waters, removing air pollutants, and even reducing energy use.
Green infrastructure and low impact development designs incorporate methods such as bioretention, rain gardens, vegetated roof tops, rain barrels, and permeable pavements.
General Yucky Ducky, his ducky army, and The Poop Fairy have their own website that is full of education materials, games and great information on our programs. Visit YuckyDucky.com for more!
Greenville County believes that reducing pollution is critical to maintaining the community's quality of life. One of the goals of our Stormwater Program is to ensure that precious resources such as clean water are never compromised. We have partnered with the construction industry to help promote Best Management Practices (BMPs), or methods used on construction sites to keep pollution out of our storm drains and to protect receiving waters. By providing you with the tools to create an efficient and environmentally safe construction site, we hope to make your job easier while keeping our streams clean. Included in this brochure is valuable information on important BMPs, right-of-way (ROW) permitting, and the County of Greenville’s construction inspection and enforcement program. We hope you find it useful. Together, we have the ability to preserve and improve the quality of life in Greenville.
NPDES stands for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, which is the compliance system for the Clean Water Act. NPDES requires that all storm water discharges that enter waters of the United States meet minimum federal water quality requirements.
The goal of NPDES permitting is to improve and protect the quality of our nation’s waterways by eliminating pollution from storm water runoff to the maximum extent practicable.
The County was one of the first government agencies in SC to be issued a Phase I MS4 NPDES permit in 2001.
The Clean Water Act prohibits anybody from discharging "pollutants" through a "point source" into a "water of the United States" unless they have an NPDES permit. The permit contains limits on what you can discharge, monitoring and reporting requirements, and other provisions to ensure that the discharge does not hurt water quality or people's health. In essence, the permit translates general requirements of the Clean Water Act into specific provisions tailored to the operations of each person or entity (Greenville County) discharging pollutants.
The term point source means any discernible, confined and discrete conveyance, such as a pipe, ditch, channel, tunnel, conduit, discrete fissure, or container. It also includes vessels or other floating craft from which pollutants are or may be discharged. By law, the term "point source" also includes concentrated animal feeding operations, which are places where animals are confined and fed. By law, agricultural storm water discharges and return flows from irrigated agriculture are not considered "point sources".
This term includes any type of industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste discharged into water. Some examples are dredged soil, solid waste, incinerator residue, sewage, garbage, sewage sludge, munitions, chemical wastes, biological materials, radioactive materials, heat, wrecked or discarded equipment, rock, sad, cellar dirt and industrial, municipal, and agricultural waste. Construction site pollutants include sediment oil and grease, pesticides and fertilizers, and construction waste and materials.
It is a permissible activity as long as the wastewater being discharged is covered by and in compliance with an NPDES permit and there are enough controls in place to make sure the discharge is safe and that humans and aquatic life are being protected. To find out if a discharge is covered by a NPDES permit, call the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) regional office or the state office responsible for issuing NPDES permits.
Sanitary Sewer Overflows (SSOs) are discharges of raw sewage from municipal sanitary sewer systems. SSOs can release untreated sewage into basements or out of manholes and onto city streets, playgrounds and into streams before it can reach a treatment facility. SSOs are often caused by blockages or breaks in sewer lines. SSOs negatively affect water quality when untreated sewage is discharged into waterbodies. Renewal Water Resources (REWA), the provider of wastewater treatment services, works with the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) and county sub-sewer districts to reduce infiltration and inflow (I & I) - the cause of Sanitary Sewer Overflows.
Typically, the Property Owner is responsible for the activities that occur on a property through use agreements and would be ultimately responsible for any maintenance, upkeep, disposition, taxes and liability associated with the property itself. However, for regulatory and enforcement purposes, the person who causes or allows the Illicit Discharge to occur will be identified as the Responsible Person. This person can be the resident or occupant, renter or lessee, proprietor, plant manager or person in responsible charge of an operation, activity or process resulting in an Illicit Discharge to the environment. This person will be held responsible for its satisfactory removal and for documenting that the Illicit Discharge has been permanently eliminated.
County staff ensures that all new construction projects meet EPA & SCDHEC standards for sediment and erosion control during construction as well as the monitoring of post-construction water quality standards. Our Plan Review staff reviews engineering calculations, construction plans, and details to ensure compliance with industry standards. We also have a team of Construction Inspectors who are certified in Erosion Prevention and Sediment Control that visit constructions sites monthly in order to make sure contractors are following the approved plans.
County staff inspects existing detention ponds previously built in the County once every 5 years to ensure they are functioning as designed. They also respond to complaints on ponds that are not being properly maintained.
Greenville County maintains and monitors a series of rain gauges and water monitoring stations along the Reedy River and creeks and streams in other watersheds for overall Water Quality health.
The County has an ordinance in place that addresses illegal dumping and litter. Enforcement of this ordinance is part of the County’s Phase I permit requirements. The Environmental Services division of the Greenville County Sheriff’s Office Environmental Services staff pursues illegal dumping of debris and other materials.
For detention pond education and maintenance tips, click here.
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