How Does Charles County Address Stormwater Pollution? |

Charles County, Maryland

How Does Charles County Address Stormwater Pollution?

How Does Charles County Address Stormwater Pollution?

Watershed Restoration Planning and Implementation to reduce pollutants, Meeting Total Maximum Daily Loads (TMDLs)

TMDLs are pollution diets for waterways, designed to reduce an impairment or stressor to a level the waterbody can assimilate and still meet State Water Quality Standards.  The Maryland TMDL Program  provides a description of TMDL development and implementation, and includes all EPA approved TMDLs for Maryland.  Charles County has eight EPA approved TMDLs, including the Chesapeake Bay TMDL.     

Watershed Resource Registry  is a mapping tool for Maryland developed by the multiple Federal and State agencies tasked with regulating the environment in the State.  The purpose of the tool is to identify restoration opportunities at the watershed scale, and integrate regulatory and non-regulatory projects. Planning at a larger scale strengthens the impact of restoration projects.

            Maryland TMDL Data Center
            MDE Water Quality Mapping Center 

Good Stewardship & Housekeeping of County Property 

Charles County Government has taken great strides in reducing potential pollution derived from maintenance activities on government properties.  The Roads division has significantly decreased the amount of herbicides used in roadway management. Parks and Grounds Division converted to a slow release fertilizer for all applications to reduce the risk of fertilizer moving into ground and surface water, which also lessens the potential for runoff contamination.  Parks and Roads Divisions have reduced the amount of salt and other treatments applied to walkways and roadways by applying treatments effectively and efficiently.  The Public Works Department continuously trains staff on spill prevention, proper fueling procedures, good housekeeping practices, waste recycling, and used oil management.   

Inspecting and Maintaining Stormwater Management Facilities and BMPs (Devices)

The Department of Planning and Growth Management’s Codes, Permits and Inspections Division inspects stormwater Management (SWM) devices at the time of construction and every three (3) years post construction.  If a device is in disrepair or unmaintained, maintenance instruction, follow up inspections and/or enforcement action are conducted to bring the device into compliance and regain functionality.

The Department of Public Works manages industrial stormwater permits for County properties, and manages maintenance of roads, drainage and SWM facilities owned by the County.  PHOTO

Public Outreach, Engaging Charles County Communities 

Charles County’s Watershed Protection and Restoration Program within the Department of Planning and Growth Management leads the public outreach effort for reducing stormwater pollution.   The Department of Public Works leads the outreach efforts for litter source reduction and recycling. 

    &nbspStorm Drain Stenciling/Marking Program

Storm drains are designed to quickly and efficiently move rainwater off streets and parking lots. Unfortunately the water that flows into the storm drains carries trash, sediment, and other pollutants through the drains and ends up in local streams and rivers. Marking or stenciling storm drains helps raise awareness about stormwater pollution and discourages people from putting harmful items into them. To learn about the program and how to participate, click here: Storm Drain Stenciling/Marking Program

    &nbspPublic Service Announcements

Charles County’s WPRP began reaching out to citizens to raise awareness about stormwater pollution with informational commercials in October 2016.   

Watch the videos to find out how you can help improve water quality in Charles County’s streams, rivers and the Chesapeake Bay. 

Reducing Litter  

The Department of Public Works leads and manages source reduction efforts to reduce the amount of litter and debris that threaten water quality.  The program includes an aggressive environmental education program, roadside litter crews, participation in the Potomac and Patuxent River Watershed Cleanups, community clean ups, and the Adopt-A-Road Program.  Public Works also manages the Charles County Sanitary Landfill, used motor oil and antifreeze collection sites and the Household Hazardous Waste Collection Program, which facilitate keeping harmful litter and other substances from polluting our watersheds.  Learn more on the Public Works Environmental Education web page.

Watershed Monitoring  

Watershed monitoring is conducted throughout the year to determine the chemical, biological, and physical health of Charles County waterways.  Additional information about watershed monitoring and the location of monitoring stations can be found in the most recent NPDES MS4 Annual Report