Environmental & Stormwater Advisory Committee:

  • Gregory Westfield, Chairman
  • Dorsey Jones Jr., Vice Chairman
  • Eulis Willis, Ex Officio
  • Ella Beatty
  • John Klein

The Town of Navassa has formed an Environmental & Stormwater Advisory Committee that will help the town develop a new Stormwater Ordinance as part of the requirements of the town's NPDES Phase II Permit. The Environmental & Stormwater Advisory Committee will also be responsible for helping the town create future educational and environmental programs, such as recycling. All of the committee's meetings are open to the public at 5:30 PM are held quarterly at the Navassa Town Hall. Below are the committee members.

Stormwater

WHAT IS IT?

Stormwater is the rainwater from a storm event and is a natural part of the hydrologic cycle. In a natural environment, most stormwater infiltrates into the ground or makes its way to the atmosphere through evaporation or plant transpiration. A small amount, usually around 10%, flows over the land to waterbodies. In developed environments, impervious surfaces such as streets, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and rooftops alter the natural cycle and prevent much of the stormwater from infiltrating or transpiring. Instead, as much as half of stormwater flows over the ground as stormwater runoff and infiltration is significantly reduced.

WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?

  • Stormwater runoff collects pollutants such as fertilizer, oil and grease, and pet waste and carries them to streams, creeks, rivers, and other bodies of water. Increased development means increased pollution in waterbodies.
  • Stormwater runoff is conveyed to waterbodies untreated. It is a common misconception that storm drains and sewers flow to sanitary sewers and that stormwater is treated at the wastewater treatment plant on Royster Road before being discharged. Stormwater systems are separate from wastewater systems and stormwater is not treated before it reaches our waterways.
  • In coastal North Carolina, our waterbodies are the primary source of water for public water systems. In Navassa, if you get your water from the Town, Brunswick County, or the North Brunswick Sanitary District, your water comes from the Cape Fear River, where all our stormwater eventually drains.
  • Impervious surfaces such as streets, parking lots, sidewalks, driveways, and rooftops prevent stormwater infiltration, also known as groundwater recharge. Groundwater is the primary water source for residents who are not connected to public water systems and a reduction in groundwater can make wells run dry.
  • Impervious surfaces increase the the quantity of stormwater runoff and the speed at which it reaches creeks and streams. This can create significant flooding along waterbodies and in roadways and yards during major storms and can cause major damage to property and can even threaten lives.
  • Pollutants in stormwater can create fish kills and can cause shellfishing closures. Currently, all waters around Navassa are closed to shellfishing due largely to bacteria washed into the waterways by stormwater runoff.
  • Polluted waterways degrade habitat for wildlife, reducing species available for hunting and fishing.
  • The shortnose sturgeon is one example of an endangered species in our area that is affected by pollution of our waterways.

HOW DOES IT AFFECT ME?

Because stormwater is such an important issue, the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the NC Department of Environment and Natural Resources (DENR) have mandated that communities near certain urban areas manage their stormwater. The Town of Navassa is required to participate in the National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) Phase II program. Therefore, the Town has adopted a Stormwater Management Plan that includes many public education elements. This website is one attempt to educate you, the residents of Navassa, about stormwater requirements and how you can help improve its quality and quantity.

STORMWATER REQUIREMENTS

Currently, Navassa property owners who wish to develop or disturb more than one acre of land are required to get, in addition to Town and County permits, a Stormwater Permit from NC DENR. By March of 2009, the Town will be responsible for adopting a Stormwater Ordinance and administering its own stormwater permitting program.

TIPS FOR IMPROVING STORMWATER

  • Do not mow stormwater ditches. Vegetation in stormwater ditches slows down the speed that water moves in the system. Slower stormwater means more infiltration can occur and reduces the risk of erosion of ditch banks. Taller and more robust vegetation is more effective at slowing the velocity of stormwater than mowed grasses and vegetation. Also, taller vegetation is usually healthier and less prone to disease and will better resist erosion.
  • Keep stormwater drains and ditches clean of debris and trash. Debris like limbs and leaves can clog storm ditches, drains, and culverts, preventing proper stormwater drainage and causing yards and streets to flood. Trash can also clog stormwater drainage systems, and it can pollute stormwater and litter creeks and streams.
  • Collect pet waste. Pet and human waste in stormwater are a leading cause of the bacteria that cause shellfishing closures and beach closures. Already, the waters around Navassa are closed to shellfishing. Picking up after pets may help improve water quality to one day permit shellfishing again. Or it may at least prevent water quality from degrading further and closing Navassa's rivers and streams to human contact.
  • Reduce or eliminate the use of fertilizer. Lawn and garden fertilizer contains high levels of nitrogen, a primary pollutant in stormwater that causes algal blooms and fish kills. When using fertilizers, make sure to read the instructions and do not use more than is recommended. Another option is to use native plants in landscaping. Native plants are drought resistant and typically require no fertilizer to thrive in our climate.
  • Ensure proper septic system function. For residents on septic systems, proper septic function is critical for protecting water quality. Failed septic systems not only pollute stormwater that drains to creeks and streams, they also can pollute groundwater and nearby wells that rely on groundwater for home water use. Perform routine maintenance on your system and immediately notify Town Hall if your septic system fails.

Help protect against stormwater pollution by construct a residential rain garden. See the flyer for more information

Navassa Stormwater Hotline 910-371-2432

If you have questions or concerns regarding stormwater issues within the Town of Navassa call the hotline number above and ask to speak with the Town Planner and Stormwater Administrator.

NC Department of Environment & Natural Resources STOP MUD Hotline 1-866-STOPMUD (786-7683)

Erosion caused by stormwater runoff from construction and development activities is another major source of pollution in our local waterways. If you observe any erosion or sedimentation problems in Navassa please call the STOP MUD hotline listed above to report them to the NC DENR.

Public Comments

The Town of Navassa encourages residents to comment on stormwater facilities within the community. If you have any comments or concerns regarding any stormwater facility in the community, please fill out the form to the right.

Report Illicit Discharges

Illicit discharges are any discharges into the stormwater drain system that are NOT composed entirely of stormwater. Illicit discharges are a problem because, unlike wastewater which flows to a wastewater treatment plant, stormwater flows directly into our rivers and streams. Pollutant levels from illicit discharges have been shown in EPA studies to be high enough to significantly degrade water quality and threaten aquatic, wildlife, and human health. For more information on illicit discharges and how to detect them, click on the EPA document to the right.

Examples of Illicit Discharges

  • Sanitary wastewater
  • Septic tank leaks
  • Improper disposal of oil
  • Improper disposal of radiator fluid
  • Wastewater from washing machines
  • Spills from roadway accidents
  • Improper disposal of household chemicals

Illicit Discharges are NOT

  • Firefighting activities or water line flushing
  • Lawn watering
  • Water from car washing
  • Streetwash water
  • Foundation Drains

The link above provides a form to report any illicit discharges you see and the link below provides more information about illicit discharging.

Stormwater Ordinance and Design Manuals:

On December 16, 2010, the Town Council adopted the Town of Navassa Phase II Stormwater Ordinance. Click on the PDF document to the right to download a copy of the ordinance.

In order to determine the appropriate design of stormater BMPs, the town utilizes the policy, criteria, and information, including technical specifications and standards, in the most recent version of the North Carolina Division of Water Quality Stormwater Best Management Practices Design Manual or the Brunswick County, North Carolina Low Impact Development (LID) Guidance Manual (Collectively the Design Manuals) as the basis for decisions about stormwater permits and about the design, implementation and performance of structural and non-structural stormwater BMPs. However, when there is a conflict between the NC Division of Water Quality Stormwater Best Management Practices Design Manual and the Brunswick County, NC Low Impact Development (LID) Guidance Manual, the more stringent standards shall apply.

Please contact the Planning Department with any questions you may have and to verify that you have the most updated versions of these documents.

Town of Navassa Stormwater Permit Application

Town of Navassa Stormwater Documents:

Click on the links below to download copies of Navassa stormwater documents.

For More Information

Local Endangered Species:

The shortnose sturgeon (Acipenser brevirostrum) is listed as an endangered species and is known to have a habitat range that includes our local waters. Stormwater runoff is one of the major sources of pollution in our waterways so it is important that we all do our part to help prevent the extinction of the shortnose sturgeon by working together to stop unnecessary stormwater pollution. The link below takes you to more information about the shortnose sturgeon. Click on the image below to find out more about them.