On January 30, 2006, the South Carolina Department of Health And Environmental Control (SCDHEC) issued the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from Regulated Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer Systems (MS4s). Berkeley County is a Regulated MS4 operator and must comply with the NPDES General Permit (Permit) requirements.
The Permit requires the County to develop, implement and enforce a Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) to reduce the discharge of pollutants from our MS4 to the maximum extent practicable (MEP), to protect water quality, and to satisfy the appropriate water quality requirements of the Clean Water Act.
On July 1, 2008, the County was granted permission to discharge storm water to receiving waters in the State of South Carolina from its regulated area subject to the Permit requirements.
The current Permit issued by SCDHEC became effective on January 1, 2014. This current Permit replaces the 2006 Permit.
In October 2015, the County entered into Intergovernmental Agreements (IGAs) with the Cities of Goose Creek and Hanahan, obligating the County to manage the municipal MS4 permits. More information about these IGAs is available under the Stormwater Links.
The Stormwater Utility Ordinance was adopted in 2014, and amended in 2018 to establish the permanent fee rate structure. Information on the fee is available on the Stormwater Utility Fee page.
Goal: Educate the public about the impacts of stormwater discharges on water bodies and the steps the public can take to reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff.
Berkeley County and the Cities of Goose Creek and Hanahan have a contractual agreement with Clemson University’s Cooperative Extension Service – Carolina Clear program to develop and implement the Public Education & Outreach component of the SWMP. The Carolina Clear program includes development of an Education Plan and other mechanisms to address stormwater quality issues. The County and municipalities are active members in the Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium (ACSEC). Click here to view the Education Plan & Annual Report of Activities prepared by ACSEC
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Goal: Provide opportunities for public involvement and participation in the stormwater program and related stormwater activities.
Berkeley County and the Cities of Goose Creek and Hanahan have a contractual agreement with Clemson University’s Cooperative Extension Service – Carolina Clear program to develop and implement the Public Involvement/Participation element of the SWMP. The Carolina Clear program includes development of a public involvement/participation strategy to address stormwater quality issues. The County is also an active member in the Ashley Cooper Stormwater Education Consortium (ACSEC).
Goal: Detect and eliminate illicit discharges into the Berkeley County and the Cities of Goose Creek and Hanahan MS4 system and receiving waters. An illicit discharge is any discharge that is not entirely composed of stormwater, except for discharges authorized by SCDHEC
On July 24, 2007, Berkeley County adopted a comprehensive Stormwater Management Ordinance This ordinance was later amended on November 24, 2014. This Ordinance contains a section addressing illicit discharge detection and elimination. In particular, the Ordinance addresses the following:
- Prohibition of illicit discharges
- Inspections of facilities suspected of having an illicit discharge
- Enforcement procedures
A key element of the illicit discharge detection and elimination program is the identification, screening, and mapping of outfalls and receiving waters and the respective watershed areas. The Department continues to build storm sewer inventory in areas of the County and municipalities based on as-built records, construction plans, field investigation and GIS information. These maps show the approximate location of outfalls and the names and location of receiving waters. A comprehensive storm sewer map identifying and defining watersheds, streams and locations of outfalls continues to be created and each outfall will be screened for illicit discharges.
The Department has developed a standard operating procedures manual for illicit discharge detection and elimination. Procedures to identify the source of illicit discharges as well as the procedures to eliminate the illicit discharges are described in the manual, and can be reported at Report Illicit Discharge.
Goal: Reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff resulting from land disturbing and construction activity.
This component of the Stormwater Management Program (SWMP) establishes requirements to be implemented on all construction activities. This provides reasonable assurance that construction activities have appropriate erosion and sediment control as well as waste control measures in place and are properly functioning. Specific requirements to be in compliance are contained in the County Stormwater Design Standards Manual which was developed and adopted on December 1, 2009. This Department reviews plans and performs inspections to ensure that all construction activities are in compliance with the Stormwater Management Ordinance and the Design Standards. The plan review for erosion and sediment control and waste control measures along with inspection and enforcement is expected to reduce siltation, turbidity and other pollutants associated with construction activities.
Goal: Reduce pollutants in stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment projects.
The Post-Construction Stormwater Management component is designed to provide Berkeley County the authority to require structural and non-structural stormwater quality best management practices (BMPs) on construction sites. The program holds owners responsible for the operation and maintenance of permanent BMPs through a legal document described as Covenants for Permanent Maintenance of Stormwater Systems. It also provides Berkeley County the authority to conduct post-construction site inspections and the ability to punish violators. The post-construction BMPs along with inspection and enforcement are expected to reduce siltation, turbidity, and other pollutants associated with developments.
Goal:Reduce pollutants entering the storm sewer system and receiving waters from County facilities and operations.
The Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping component is designed to reduce pollutants entering the storm sewer system from County and Municipal facilities and operations. The Department has developed a Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping Manual which addresses the operation and maintenance program to reduce pollutant runoff from all County and Municipal facilities and operations.
In May 2010, an audit of selected County-owned facilities was performed to determine the current state of stormwater management at County facilities and operations. The County continues to conduct annual County and Municipal facilities and operations inspections. Annual Training is provided to County and Municipal Directors, Managers, Supervisors, and Field Staff on measures and BMPs to prevent and reduce stormwater pollution from County and Municipal activities. These activities included park and open space maintenance, building maintenance, fleet maintenance, stormwater system maintenance, new construction and land disturbances.
Goal: To provide reasonable assurance that discharges from the Berkeley County MS4 will not cause or contribute to violations of water quality standards and to control discharges of the pollutants of concern.
Berkeley County has collected information from SCDHEC on the location of impaired waters, as determined from results of the State’s monitoring program that could potentially be impacted by discharges from Berkeley County’s MS4. This information will be used to determine what types of water quality improvement measures should be taken. A monitoring plan will be developed and implemented to provide reasonable assurance that discharges from our MS4 will not cause or contribute to violations of water quality standards.
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