Stormwater Education 101

StormwaterWhy do we need to control stormwater?

Increased impervious surface (asphalt, concrete, and rooftops) limits the amount of water that can absorb into the ground and creates high stormwater runoff volumes. This increases the amount of water that runs directly into our creeks and streams without being filtered thru the soil. This increases the amount of nutrients reaching the stream including nitrogen and phosphorus. The increased volume also creates a "flashy" condition in the creek and streams, causing them to rise very quickly. This can increase amount of stream bank erosion and stream movement to the left or right, oxbows, etc.

What is a stormwater Best Management Practice (BMP)?

BMP consists of various controls to help manage the excess runoff. Types of stormwater controls include:

  • Wet Detention

  • Dry Detention

  • Bioretention

  • Constructed Wetlands

  • Scour Holes

  • Level Spreaders

  • Stormwater Phase II

What about mosquitoes, snakes, and beavers?

The BMP's should drain within 72 hours. Constructed wetlands and wet detention should primarily stay wet and act as a natural system. There are many native predators of mosquitoes including: dragonflies, gambousia or mosquito fish, birds/waterfowl, and bats.

Most snakes are harmless. The Copperhead snake is only one in Wake Forest that is poisonous. Learn more about the snakes of North Carolina.

Beavers love all of our trees and juveniles like to build dams in our creeks here in Wake Forest. They are mainly a nuisance but can cause flooding problems. They can be professionally trapped but are not taken to another pond or "special farm". Also, the dams can indirectly create better water quality conditions and habitat for fish. The jury is still out on what to do with them.

Who can I call if I have a question?

The Town of Wake Forest's Engineering Department handles stormwater issues.