BY KARISSA MILLER
Iredell County commissioners agreed on Friday to have administrative staff work to address stormwater issues in various subdivisions throughout the county following a round of heavy rainfall.
During the Board of County Commissioners winter planning retreat, Planning Director Matthew Todd discussed a series of trouble spots throughout the county.
The series of photos showed orange mud extending from roads to neighborhood yards and filling up creeks and driveways. One photo that caught the eyes of commissioners was stormwater running downhill through a backyard and flowing into a homeowner’s swimming pool.
Todd and his staff have fielded several calls from concerned residents. They have also visited numerous homes to look at the issues in person.
Residents have complained that poor stormwater management by subdivision developers during recent years has created lasting problems for homeowners.
Those residents want help. Others are concerned that the runoff from construction sites is harming nearby ponds and lake.
“We aren’t in the business of collecting stormwater like the cities do — transporting and then discharging it somewhere. We don’t have the infrastructure out there. We don’t have the engineers out there,” Todd said.
Many of the complaints brought before local government are outside its authority as disputes involve private property rights, he said.
According to Todd, local government can act only in a limited number of situations.
Commissioner Ken Robertson refused to accept that answer. He said that water quality issues need to be addressed.
“We’re allowing for one person to make money and ruin somebody else’s life savings — without any means of restitution or intervention,” Robertson said.
Vice Chairman Tommy Bowles asked Todd how the county can get residents who suffered damage some relief.
Commissioners agreed that they wouldn’t be able to completely remedy the problem; however, they asked Todd and his staff to provide reasonable suggestions for a future discussion of stormwater relief for residents.
Construction Related Erosion
Some stormwater issues are related to active land disturbing activity, including:
• Mud or sediment washing onto property due to lack of erosion control measures or failure to maintain erosion control measures.
• Sediment tracked into the road from an active construction site.
• Sediment washing into a natural waterway.
Who to contact: Iredell County Planning, Erosion Control Section at 704-832-2352.
• Impacts not related to active land disturbing activity:
• Increased runoff onto your property from a development.
• Erosion occurring on your property as a result of stormwater runoff.
• Neighbor piping downspouts to property lines to discharge on your property.
Who to contact: Determine if you are within a municipal jurisdiction (city limit or extraterritorial jurisdiction) and contact their zoning or stormwater department.
It’s important to know that all runoff, construction or stormwater, picks up sediment during rain events. This leads to an increase in turbidity of the runoff.