Staff Contact: Heather Dutra
The North Carolina Department of Environment & Natural Resources (NC DENR), Division of Water Quality, has identified nonpoint source pollution as the primary source of degradation of freshwater rivers and streams in NC. One of the most widespread sources of nonpoint source pollution is urban runoff. Excess nitrogen and phosphorus from improper fertilizer use can cause algal blooms which result in fish kills. Sediment- the number one pollutant in North Carolina waters- degrades aquatic habitat, fills our drinking water reservoirs, and can reduce outdoor recreational opportunities such as fishing, boating, and swimming.
Pollutants often enter our streams through erosion and via polluted stormwater flowing to the local storm drain network
Durham Soil & Water staff can help you protect local water quality while addressing erosion & drainage concerns!
The Durham Soil & Water Conservation District offers free on-site consultations for landscape erosion and drainage problems. During these site consultations, staff may identify eligibility criteria for participation in the Community Conservation Assistance Program (CCAP) - a program that helps urban and suburban landowners voluntarily reduce their nonpoint source pollution through the installation of stormwater control measures such as rain gardens, cisterns, streambank stabilization, and more. Soil & Water staff can provide a free conservation plan with project designs and potentially up to 75% cost-share reimbursement for the installation of these practices. In some cases, landowners may be eligible for Durham County’s Impaired Stream Improvement Program (ISIP) that provides 100% in cost-share reimbursement for the installation of stormwater management practices.
Durham Soil & Water staff can also give water quality and CCAP-related presentations at community meetings. To schedule a community meeting or site visit, contact Heather Dutra (HDutra@dconc.gov or 919-560-0558). For individual site consultations, please include a description of the drainage and/or erosion concern and a physical address of the location within Durham County (including the City of Durham).
** Click here for commonly asked CCAP Questions and Answers [PDF] and example CCAP projects [PDF]
Current CCAP include:
- Backyard RainGarden
- Backyard Wetland
- Critical Area Planting
- Bioretension Area
- Stormwater Wetland
- Well Closure - hand-dug only
- Impervious Surface Conversion
- Riparian Buffer
- Streambank Stabilization
- Grassed Swale
- Pet Waste Receptacle
- Permeable Pavement
NCSSM Sustainability Courtyard Video (2017)
Durham Soil & Water staff worked with teachers and students at the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics (NCSSM) to design and install a 1,400sf planted area to reduce erosion and a 1,050 gallon cistern to harvest rain water. The school was reimbursed $5,000 through CCAP for these beneficial stormwater management projects with grant funding from EPA 319. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BGP4eUgZEFA)