Education and Outreach

The Clean Water Act

The Clean Water Act, signed into law 1973, requires local governments to manage storm water pollution. As a result of this federal mandate Beaufort County established a Stormwater Management Utility (SWU). The utility is responsible for protecting the health of our valuable waterways and for reducing flooding due to storms in our vulnerable low-lying region.

What is stormwater runoff?

Stormwater runoff is the most common cause of water pollution. It occurs when rainwater falls from rooftops or runs off driveways, roads, sidewalks, lawns and farmland and collects pollutants such as pet and livestock waste, garbage, sediment, pesticides, fertilizers, chemicals, grease and oil and carries them into our rivers estuaries, inlets, sounds and coastal waters.

How do we prevent stormwater from polluting our waterways?

The US Environmental Protection Agency prescribes methods that local governments must use to reduce pollution. This involves a system of pipes, ditches and ponds. Pollutants are retained and allowed to settle, then filtered through vegetation and treated. These same pipes and ditches also help control flooding. Stormwater management requires diligent monitoring of pollutants in our waterways and constant maintenance of drainage systems. It is a costly process, but less costly than cleaning up polluted waters. It protects our health, our environment, our fisheries and the quality of our drinking water. It is also required by federal law.

Preventive Water Tips
  • Here are some things home owners can do to help prevent water pollution:
  • Water your lawn only as needed
  • Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly – use organic mulch or safer pest control whenever possible
  • Compost or mulch yard waste
  • Cover piles of dirt or mulch used in landscaping
  • Inspect your septic system every 3 years and pump your tank every 3 to 5 years
  • Dispose of household hazardous waste responsibly (avoid sinks or toilets)
  • Use a car wash product that treats or recycles its wastewater, and wash your car on your lawn so water infiltrates into the ground
  • Repair leaks and dispose of used auto fluids and batteries at designated drop off or recycling locations
  • Pick up pet waste and dispose of it properly. Flushing is best.
Stormwater Education and Outreach

Beaufort County Stormwater Utility is now partnering with the Town of Bluffton, the Town of Hilton Head Island, The City of Beaufort, and the Town of Port Royal to provide a county wide stormwater education program called the Lowcountry Stormwater Partners initiative. Originally, the Lowcountry Stormwater Partners (previously known as Neighbors for Clean Water) was developed for the Town of Bluffton through the May River 319 Grant. Bluffton is now sharing this webpage with all the stormwater utitlities to help reach and educate all of our citizens to help protect our precious waterways.

The Lowcountry Stormwater Partners has chosen the Beaufort Conservation District to deliver the stormwater education program. Under the guidance of Beaufort County and the four municipalities, Beaufort Conservation district will undertake a variety of education outreach projects with the scope and services requested by the Lowcountry Stomwater Partners.

Please visit or to learn about current events throughout Beaufort County and what every citizen can do to help improve the quality of our creeks, rivers, oceans and sounds in Beaufort County.

If you cannot find the information you need on this website please contact our office at (843) 255-2805.

Public Education
Boat Owners 
Yard Care
Home Owners
Pet Owners
Car Owners
Water Users
Rainfall Harvesting
Community and Home Owner's Association
Detention Pond Users
Understanding Stormwater design
Other Resources
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