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The Water You Drink

Did you realize that Greenville, SC has been recognized as having some of the best drinking water in the nation? Such quality water comes only from strict measures taken by municipality leaders to ensure water quality. Each day Greenville Water administers numerous water tests to maintain that quality (see Keeping the Greenville Drinking Supply Safe). But testing alone does not ensure water quality. It is essential that each community, home and individual recognize the role they play in water supply.

How can you effect your drinking water? Perhaps the greatest effect on our water quality is the stormwater that flows through your yard and into the community's streams.  That’s right, the water we drink was once rain runoff, going through your yard. I know, this is something you were taught in grade school, the life cycle of Mr. Walter Drawp. See what I did there?

Unfortunately, our knowledge does not always connect with our behaviors. So, how do we live out the reality that the water flowing through our yard gets poured into our glass. For starters, don’t over fertilize, pick up pet wast, and wash your car at the car wash. Furthermore, your neighborhood has filtration systems for stormwater that prevents pollutants from getting into our water sources. Check with the place you work and your neighborhood to make sure a permanent stormwater manager is in place to set a stormwater pollutant prevention plan in action.

It’s very important that our community continues to value our water quality. Furthermore, keep in mind that the community is US—you and me. Each one of us must take individual responsibility for the role we play with our water sources.  

Land Clearing

Why is forestry mulching a better alternative to grading when clearing land?

Well, let’s be honest. Mulching is not always truly better. However, there are benefits to mulching, such as:

1- Less soil compaction. When working with stormwater ponds or virtually any green space, soil compaction diminishes absorption rate. 

2- Maintain fertile top soil. Grading will remove the healthiest layer off your property. Preserving your topsoil is essential to a healthy piece of land.  

3- Provide ground cover. Once grading is complete, seeding and straw matting is necessary for erosion protection. However, after mulching, the finished product stabilizes the soil, saving you money. 

4- No hauling. A significant cost factor is hauling off material in a land clearing project. When grading, the material that would have been mulched now needs to be hauled away, resulting in trucking fees and a cost for dumping.

Also, as you consider clearing land, make sure that the right sized equipment is used. The right tool for the job effects quality, safety, and time, all of which translates into money for the property owner.

Get a better idea of the right tools and the finished product in this video. 

Pond Mowing

Chances are you’re stormwater pond is over grown. Perhaps you haven’t really given it much thouht other than the occasional drive by that causes you some embarrassment. However, did you realize that your local municipality is checking these ponds and giving violations for overgrown stormwater ponds?

Most likely, you look at the steep embankment and realize that mowing the steep slope is hard work and very dangerous. Here’s a safe alternative with Buck Outdoors Stormwater Solutions to maintain an attractive property and prevent fines and violations.  

Danger of Corrugated Pipe

Recently, a young child fell into a sink hole caused by failing stormwater pipes. Are you preventing liability with your neighbors and employees by being proactive with stormwater maintenance and inspections?

If your property was built over 30 years ago, there’s a pretty good chance that corrugated metal pipe was used. This pipe, from holding water, eventually begins to rust. Once rust has eaten through the pipe, soil begins to wash into your stormwater system.

The first sign of a problem could be extra sediment in your stormwater pond and nearby streams. Of course, the added sediment into your pond becomes costly to remove, and fines can be connected to polluting the stream with sediment. However, there is a bigger liability. The wash out of soil under ground creates a cavity, or sink hole. 

Through routine maintenance and inspections, you increase the chance of finding these problems before costly sediment removal, expensive fines, or endangering your employees and neighbors. 

Call Buck Outdoors Stormwater Solutions to establish a maintenance plan for a peace of mind. 

Temporary BMPs

Often, when a construction site is completed a few things are overlooked. However, failure to remover all temporary BMPs results in failure of the stormwater structures. 

Generally, the first thing to go into a construction site is silt fence. This fence is in place to hold sediment on the construction site. More silt fence is often added around storm drains to prevent sediment from getting into the new stormwater system. The silt fence, and all other temporary BMPs (Best Management Practice), must be in place until the disturbed area is stabilized. Stabilization is the establishment of mulch, straw, or established grass. 

Stabilization keeps the soil in place, and once the disturbed area has adequate cover the temporary BMP can be removed. These temporary BMPs must be removed, but are often over looked. The grader misses it, the MS4 regulator misses it and the BMP is simply left. Years later the temporary BMP catches enough sediment that it can clog a drain box. 

That is the case here in Columbia, SC. The silt fence held sand and eventually became covered with sediment. To fix the isue, we had to use an excavator, dig out the silt fence and re-stabilize the soil.  

This issue was caught during a routine annual inspection. Though the issue was caught during dry weather, Major rain events would be a problem for this site as stormwater was not able to flow off the property. Fortunately, the issue was caught and fixed. Today, the stormwater structures are free and the property is not in danger of flooding during the next rain event. 

The Value of Hiring a Stormwater Manager

To care for your stormwater facility requires knowledge and time that most property owners don't have. Buck Outdoor Stormwater Services (B.O.S.S.) removes this headache from property owners. Every stormwater facility is subject to state and local laws. Furthermore, these laws change. Therefore, it's extremely helpful to have a stormwater professional on your team.

Allying with a stormwater professional often reduces inspections and helps with audits. Municipalities are required to inspect stormwater facilities at least every five years and whenever there is a complaint. When stormwater managers properly submit records to the municipality, those reports by a licensed inspector adequately fulfill the inspection requirements for the municipality. Also, DHEC and EPA routinely preform audits on stormwater facilities for Stormwater Pollutant Prevention Plans. Having a stormwater manager on your side means that you have a qualified ally who can represent you during the audit, saving you both time and money.

Furthermore, a stormwater manager will help you protect your reputation and manage risks. Your reputation is invaluable. And when you have a mess in your stormwater facility, your community and clients have to wonder about the quality you find acceptable. Also, having a stormwater system adds a layer of risk to your property. Discharges, vandalism and personal injury are risks that a stormwater manager looks out for.

The bottom line is the bottom dollar. Ultimately, the stormwater manager helps you save the money you work hard for. B.O.S.S. and others who provide stormwater services limit expenses with efficient management practices.

To find out if B.O.S.S. can help you manage your stormwater facility, contact us today.

Protecting Your Home from Stormwater Damage

In a natural environment, storm water runoff is absorbed by soil, evaporates into the atmosphere or flows into bodies of water, such as streams, lakes or rivers. Homeowners may need to recreate the natural environment on their property to address storm water runoff. This includes planting trees and other vegetation, building rain gardens and installing rain barrels or cisterns to collect roof water.

Read more from the article found at TRAVELRS INSURANCE here.

Don't Be Reactive with Stormwater Facilities

Too often, property owners become reactive when it comes to their stormwater system. However, the South Carolina Stormwater Management and Sediment Reduction Act of 1991 requires property owners to actively maintain and inspect their stormwater facilities. Unfortunately, in order to properly manage these systems requires knowledge and time that most property owners do not have.

Regardless, it is not worth it to have a reactive philosophy of managing stormwater facilities. Reactive management is an expensive option that creates an eye sore in the community and is not a responsible approach to our environment. By partnering with a third party stormwater manager, property owners can rest assured that everything is being taken care of properly.

Perhaps you have heard, or experienced yourself, the hassle of receiving a violation and fear of a hefty fine. These are the issues that potentially keep property owners up at night. And as communities grow and enforcement of regulations tighten the chance of experiencing violations and fines increase.

Therefore, hiring a third party stormwater manager, such as Buck Outdoors Stormwater Services, takes away the head ache of complying with the Stormwater Management and Sediment Reduction Act. For example, the Permanent Stormwater Facilities Maintenance Agreement requires that records be kept of routine work and inspections done on the facility. When these records are properly kept and reported to the MS4, inspections from the municipality are much more smoother. Often times, when reports are sent in annually, the MS4 is able to consider the report as an inspection. Meaning, the hassle of inspections and fear of violations are managed for the property owner.

Contact Buck Outdoors Stormwater Services today to see if hiring a third party manager makes sense for you.

Stormwater Management Trending with Rain Barrels/Gardens

New construction in our community means economic stability. However, with more people, buildings and parking lots, the watershed is overwhelmed with stormwater.  Fortunately, the new trend of containing stormwater gives Mother Nature much-needed relief.  The desire and ability to collect rainwater for future use slows down the emergence of flow into the local watershed.

Photo by schulzie/iStock / Getty Images

Photo by schulzie/iStock / Getty Images

Rain barrels have been popular for almost a decade now.  Gutter systems on homes are connected to a barrel for later use.  However, the trend will begin morphing in the near future as homeowners want an effective system for using their harvested rain and commercial property seeks ways to use harvested rain on a larger scale.

Today, rain barrels can be connected to rain gardens or bioretention gardens.  Rain gardens are specfically engineered and constructed to absorb and filter water through healthy plant growth. Using plant growth as filtration provides a more natural and attractive means of managing stormwater systems. Generally, a rain garden is installed to add a beautiful flower garden to the property. However, rain gardens can be used to camouflage the stormwater system, giving the property a more natural look and feel rather than a large, fenced-in, overgrown area. 

Similar to rain gardens are rainwater irrigation systems. Rain barrels connect to an irrigation system.  The irrigation systems uses the harvested rainwater, then uses city water as needed. Rainwater irrigation systems are a solution that also reduces water bills and allows rainwater to be absorbed through the lawn.

Temporary containers are now being used in larger constructions. Large containers are being placed on properties to hold water rather than letting it overwhelm the watershed.  This is a popular solution in large parking lots as durable structures sit underneath the parking lot itself.  In new construction, this has become the way to go. Developments now require less space and the over bearance of water off of impermeable pavement into the watershed is stopped.  Generally, these containers have filters to absorb pollutants. The maintenance requires a stormewater management company to change the filters and pump the containers on a regular basis.