Wake County invites the public to join efforts to protect county water resources

Comments being accepted on updated Stormwater Manual


Wake County is inviting the public, including the development community, to review and send feedback on its new Stormwater Manual, which sets guidance on safely handling water runoff from land and construction sites. When stormwater runoff is not managed properly, it can harm streams and lakes, especially as many of Wake County’s rural areas are being developed. The manual, last updated ten years ago, is now available for public review at wake.gov/manual.

“The manual offers valuable information and guidance to engineers, developers and residents involved in Wake County projects,” said Wake County Commissioner Matt Calabria. “Wake County is growing rapidly, and we need to make sure that the best practices are in place to protect the environment."

When buildings, structures and other impervious surfaces are added to undeveloped land, rainwater runoff increases, making managing stormwater and erosion difficult. Runoff picks up fertilizer, oil, pesticides, dirt, bacteria and other pollutants as it makes its way through storm drains and ditches - untreated - to our streams, rivers, lakes and the ocean. Polluted runoff is one of the greatest threats to clean water. The manual introduces rules for managing nutrients and creating buffers along water bodies for both residential and commercial areas.

The Stormwater Manual updates meet federal and state regulations for development stormwater runoff. The manual includes updated requirements for the Neuse River Basin, following April 2020 updates from the NC State Department of Environmental Quality.

Please send your comments by Feb. 15 at 5 p.m. to Barney Blackburn, Wake County Environmental Engineer at barney.blackburn@wake.gov with 'SWDM Comments' in the subject line.

The manual has eight chapters covering various stormwater design aspects. Wake County staff will review the comments and make a second draft available to the public for comments between March 1 through March 15. After incorporating the second round of comments, the manual will be finalized by March 29.

Press Release