About Us

25 Years of Service​

In the late 1980s, the City of Charlotte and Mecklenburg County leaders and citizen advisory groups developed a framework for a program with dedicated funding to support stormwater initiatives. In 1993, Charlotte Storm Water Services was born and Mecklenburg County Storm Water Services followed in early 1994. This collaborative effort created the first stormwater utility in North Carolina and one of the first in the nation. In celebration of 25 years of service, staff members reflected on our accomplishments, why our programs and projects are important to our community, and what our work will look like in the next 25 years.

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StormWater 25 Years Logo

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Improving Infrastructure

 

Protecting Surface Waters​​​​​

 

Building Partnerships​

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over the past year we have installed
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over 25,000 linear feet of pipe and so
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you can imagine what we've installed
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over the previous 24 years
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[Music]
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everyone in the city has a driveway or a
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roof that drains to the storm drainage
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system and the thousands of miles of
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pipe underneath our roads and those
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pipes need to be maintained and replaced
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to keep the city functioning I'd like
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for a residents to know that our storm
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drains are connected to our creeks so
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when it rains that water gets into our
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storm drains and goes to our creeks
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which eventually goes to the rivers and
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then to the oceans
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so we need to be diligent about what
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goes into our storm drains
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with my 15 years with storm water
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I'd have to say residents benefited the
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most for instance with this project the
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resident had a lot of sinkholes in her
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front yard and those were caused by the
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broken pipe underground so we had to dig
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that up replace it with new pipe and we
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also added a roadside ditch to help with
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surface drainage but with her yesterday
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and she's very happy about that
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stormwater is first 25 years we've
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addressed a lot of the flooding issues
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around the city I see the next 25 being
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more replacement of aging infrastructure
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and bringing some of that up to date
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over the next 25 years I believe the
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community will benefit from the work
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that we're doing today they will
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experience less flooding and there will
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always be a need for storm water project
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I do this job because I love our surface
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water resources I think they're our most
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precious natural resource and I think
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there's something to be cherished and
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protected and that's why I do it
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I always felt connected with water
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resources and always felt a sense of
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ownership and responsibility and so now
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that that's my job it's really easy to
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come to work and feel motivated when I
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know that the things that I do are
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improving and protecting our water resis
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resources here in our community
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we've done a lot of great things we've
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done a lot of very important things and
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probably there's a couple things that I
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can think think of right offhand one of
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them is like what was called the surface
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water improvement in management or swim
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program we started back in 1996 that
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resulted in buffers along our creeks
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resulted in a lot of enhancements to our
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water quality monitoring and water
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quality protection efforts and I think
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that was a very big achievement and then
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I think the other thing that has really
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been good is that we did a post
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construction ordinance back in 2005 in
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2007
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adopted an ordinance that requires
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people to treat stormwater before they
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allow it to go in the creeks from you
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development and I think that was a big
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achievement and that's something I think
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was really good
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well I think one thing people don't
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realize they hear the word stormwater
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and they don't realize that we actually
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are do a lot of work to protect the
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environment and that's not in our title
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but it's a lot of what we do
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so I think in 25 years our accomplished
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accomplished men to be related to how
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innovative and proactive we are as well
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as how well we engage the community
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because with increased development and
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climate change that's going to be a huge
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stressor to our natural resource I think
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we've done a lot but when I look ahead
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and think about what lays ahead
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I really think what's left to do when
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I'm gone is even more important than
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anything I was ever involved in and it's
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gonna be a lot harder if you kind of
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equate it to an apple tree weave during
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my career we've picked the low-hanging
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fruit and we picked up what was on the
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ground now what's left is at the top of
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the tree and it's gonna be it's gonna be
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a challenge fortunately we've got a lot
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of smart dedicated people that are ready
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to meet that challenge
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now greatest motivation is being
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surrounded by a bunch of folks that are
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absolutely passionate about making our
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environment safe and healthy these are
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some great biologists engineers
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geologists heavy equipment operators
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truck drivers administrative staff that
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really really care
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it was more of a change in philosophy of
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the program where we needed to shift how
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we did flood loss reduction to moving
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into a buyout program in establishing
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partnerships with folks like North
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Carolina Department of Emergency
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Management FEMA those partnerships were
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solid in us creating the floodplain
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buyout program and then what to further
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that we grew into other partnerships
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like our Park and Rec Department for
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expansion of greenways the North
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Carolina Clean Water Management trust
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fund for the creation of water quality
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ponds to filter the pollutants from
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surrounding areas we don't do this alone
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by any stretch of the imagination where
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we're standing right now is in our fins
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room is called the flooded information
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notification system the vast majority of
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the data that comes in and for our
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notification system comes from a federal
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agencies called US Geological Survey
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these partnerships are the federal with
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the data coming into our systems and
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being interpolated and then warning the
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fire department is what makes us more
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resilient
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I believe a lot of that information is
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going to be generated by satellite
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imagery I believe that the flood mapping
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that we do now which is heavily
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engineering oriented will be more on the
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fly and being done about totally
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different parameters than what we see
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today in it all by satellites