Stormwater Management

The goals of the stormwater management program are to reduce flooding and pollutants caused by stormwater runoff and their harmful effects. To achieve this, the City of Covington is involved in several activities to protect and improve the quality of water. The activities include developing a Stormwater Management Plan for the city's NPDES Stormwater Phase II Permit, a watershed assessment and an overlay zoning district.

What About Covington?

What activities is the City of Covington involved with to prevent pollution and improve water quality?

NPDES (National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System) Stormwater Phase II Permit Compliance

The City of Covington is required to comply with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency's Stormwater Phase II Permit Program. The program requires that regulated communities, such as Newton County and the City of Covington, prepare Stormwater Management Plans to help alleviate pollution in urbanized areas. The NPDES permit contains limits on what can be discharged as well as monitoring and reporting requirements to ensure that discharges do not impair water quality, causing human health problems and affecting animal habitats. As part of compliance, the City of Covington has created the stormwater management program, which will be coordinated with several on going activities such as:

Watershed Assessment
The City of Covington has been involved in a watershed assessment for the drainage basins that provide drinking water sources for city residents and businesses. The assessment determines the conditions of streams and estimates the size and effects of pollution sources. It has also helped to provide and evaluate options for protecting and improving water quality in the city. Watershed assessments are required by the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) to obtain permits for new water and water waste treatment plants and the expansion of existing facilities.

Watershed Overlay Zoning District
Covington has created a watershed overlay zoning district for the protection of source water watershed areas. The zoning district identifies watershed areas as an overlay to the zoning map. The boundaries of the overlay district follow established drainage and topographic patterns. Development in the overlay zone will be limited and approved only after careful consideration of potential impacts to water quality.

Adopt-a-Stream Program
The Adopt-a-Stream program has been created to help keep water areas clean from trash, debris, and other pollutants as well as to monitor unauthorized dumping and other activities that may affect water quality. The program includes clean-up days and an educational component consisting of written materials, workshops, and other local events and activities.

Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful Program (KCNB)
The Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful Program is a partner of the Keep America Beautiful and Keep Georgia Beautiful programs. The board of the KCNB program is comprised of more than 60 citizens with a goal of educating the public on environmental issues.  Some of the activities of the program include litter prevention, beautification, solid waste management, and water conservation efforts.

What are Best Management Practices (BMP's) and what are some BMP's the city of Covington could perform to prevent or reduce stormwater runoff?

As part of the development of a stormwater management plan for the NPDES Phase II Permit, the City of Covington is evaluating numerous stormwater Best Management Practices (BMPs). BMPs are practices and techniques used to reduce, treat or prevent stormwater runoff. Best management practices may include ordinances and regulations, nonstructural and structural controls, and maintenance and operational procedures. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) have defined six categories of BMPs, also referred to as minimum control measures. Listed below are BMPs and activities the City of Covington has proposed for the stormwater management program.   See Covington's Georgia EPD approved NOI for details about the below activities.

Public Education and Outreach

  • Stormwater brochures
  • Stormwater education programs in local schools
  • Stormwater management tips in the local paper
  • Stormwater management website
  • Television advertisements or educational videos
  • Public Participation and Involvement
  • Amnesty Day
  • Rivers Alive stream cleanups
  • Great American Cleanup
  • Keep Covington/Newton Beautiful Program
  • Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
  • Storm drainage system mapping
  • Illicit Discharge screening, identification, and correction
  • Complaint tracking and follow-up
  • Ordinance and other controls
  • Construction Site Runoff Control
  • Sample plans for distribution
  • Regulatory program for construction sites
  • Timed or milestone-based inspections
  • Building inspection holds for non-compliance
  • Plan review checklist
  • E&S Plan review and approval procedures
  • Ordinance and other controls
  • Post-Construction Runoff Control
  • Stormwater management ordinance
  • Georgia Stormwater Management Manual adoption
  • Stormwater management plan reviews
  • Required site concept meetings for all new developments
  • Development of maintenance procedures for stormwater management systems on public and private property
  • Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations
  • Employee training in materials handling and pollution prevention
  • Regular sweeping of City parking lots and streets
  • Routine catch basin cleaning
  • Inspection of publicly owned stormwater management facilities
  • Monitoring of NPDES industrial facilities
  • Adopt-A-Highway Program
  • Assessment of City-owned BMPs for retrofit potential

  Please click here now for a copy of the 2009 Annual Report.pdf

Stormwater FYI

  • Did you know that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has identified non-point source pollution and polluted stormwater runoff as two main causes of water quality problems?
  • Did you know that more than 600 miles of streams in the Atlanta metropolitan area do not meet water quality standards as a result of stormwater runoff?
  • Did you know that pet waste is a primary source of bacteria that often end up in streams?
  • Did you know that less than 0.5 percent of the earth's water can be used by humans?
  • Did you know that it is illegal to dump waste into streets or storm drains?
  • Did you know that the problem with litter is two-fold? Not only does it look bad, but it can also be ingested by animals and fish, which can lead to death.
  • Did you know that many household cleansers and products contain toxic chemicals that cannot be broken down, often causing harm to plant, fish and animal life?
  • Did you know that you can alleviate many water quality problems?