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Welcome to the Stormwater Management Program website. The Stormwater Management Program works to enhance and protect the water resources of Bartow County.

Our Mission:

rainwaterfallto evolve into a more comprehensive and proactive part of Bartow County's efforts to protect the environment and our future while effectively and efficiently manage stormwater runoff 

What is Stormwater?

Stormwater is water that runs off roofs, driveways, and streets into our storm drains when rain or snowmelt flows over the ground. What most people do not realize is that in the journey from the sky to streets to streams, stormwater picks up chemicals and pollutants that can contaminate our waterways. Impervious surfaces like driveways, sidewalks, and streets prevent stormwater from naturally soaking into the ground.

Why is Stormwater Runoff a Problem?

Stormwater can pick up debris, chemicals, dirt, and other pollutants and flow into a storm sewer or directly to a lake, stream, or river such as the Etowah River right here in Bartow County (or wetlands or coastal waters in other areas). Anything that enters a storm sewer system is discharged untreated into the waterbodies we use for swimmingfishing, and providing drinking water!

What are the Effects of Pollution?

Polluted stormwater can have many adverse effects on plants, fish, animals, and us!

  • Sediment can cloud the water and make it difficult or impossible for aquatic plants to grow
  • Excess nutrients can cause algae blooms. When algae die, they decompose which removes oxygen from the water. This in turn kills the fish and other organisms in the water!
  • Debris such as plastic bags, six pack rings, bottles and cigarette butts that wash into waterbodies can choke or suffocate aquatic life like ducks, fish, turtles and birds.
  • Household cleaners, insecticides, paints, etc. can poison aquatic life. Then, land animals and people can become sick or die from eating these diseased fish and shellfish or by ingesting polluted water!
  • Polluted stormwater can affect drinking water sources which in turn can affect human health and increase drinking water treatment costs!