The City of Sumter obtained coverage under the State of South Carolina National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) General Permit for Storm Water Discharges from regulated Small MS4s on September 24, 2007. This permit issued by SCDHEC requires the City, which has been designated a Small Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4) based on its population, to develop, implement, and enforce a stormwater management program designed to reduce the amount of pollutants discharging from the MS4, in order to protect and improve water quality in our rivers and streams. The permit requires this goal be achieved through the implementation of six "Minimum Control Measures" (MCM's):
Public Education and Outreach
The City, along with Sumter County, has partnered with Clemson University Extension Service's Carolina Clear program to form an educational consortium, Sumter Stormwater Solutions, to inform the Sumter community about water quality issues through advertising campaigns, school programs, and presentations at public events.
Public Involvement and Participation
The City is utilizing the efforts of Carolina Clear to implement such activities as a storm drain marking program, rain barrel workshops, stream cleanups, and rain garden workshops to get the community involved in improving water quality. The City also intends to periodically hold meetings with developers, contractors, builders, engineers, and interested citizens to provide information and to receive feedback concerning stormwater issues and future program developments.
Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
The City has adopted an Illicit Discharge Ordinance that prohibits non-stormwater discharges to the storm drainage system. The City is responsible for screening stormwater outfalls within the City during dry weather in order to locate and remove illegal connections to the system. To report possible illegal connections to the system or illegal dumping activities, please contact the Stormwater Department at (803) 436-2644.
Construction Site Storm Water Runoff Control
The City is responsible for reviewing construction stormwater plans and issuing permits in accordance with the City's Stormwater Management and Sediment Control Ordinance. The City also performs compliance inspections of construction sites to ensure that the stormwater plans are being followed. In 2014, the Stormwater Department issued 15 permits. Please refer to our Guidance Document for Plan Submittals if you have a proposed construction project within the city limits or call (803) 436-2644 for information.
Post-Construction Storm Water Management in New Development and Redevelopment
The City's Stormwater Management and Sediment Control Ordinance requires that owners of stormwater treatment facilities such as detention ponds, engineered swales, infiltration ponds, oil/water separators, or bio-retention cells be responsible for proper maintenance of these systems to ensure that they adequately treat stormwater runoff as designed. The City will periodically inspect these systems and require any deficiencies be corrected by the owner. The Stormwater Department currently has 18 facilities to inspect once every MS4 permit cycle.
Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping for Municipal Operations
The City is responsible for providing training to its employees on Best Management Practices (BMP's) to be followed during daily work activities to reduce stormwater pollution.
Stormwater Utility Ordinance
In July 2011, the city passed the Stormwater Utility Ordinance to assist in funding the city's MS4 program. A user fee of $5/month for commercial and industrial customers and a $2.50/month for residential customers is being charged on the customer's utility bill for an interim period. During this interim period, the city will be conducting a stormwater utility rate study which will assess the actual impervious cover on each parcel of land within the city limits. The amount of impervious cover on each parcel will be the basis for determining its contribution to the city's stormwater system and the associated fee.