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Stormwater SMART

Big Sweep Volunteers
Volunteers participate in a litter clean-up

During fiscal year 2004-2005, through a 205j grant from the NC Division of Water Quality, PTRC organized a group of 24 local government representatives from Phase II cities and towns as part of the stormwater outreach program team with no upfront costs to local governments. Local government representatives originally directed the program coordinator to focus on educating the region’s elected officials and the PTRC board of delegates. This was achieved through the development and presentation of a PowerPoint slideshow entitled “Stormwater in a Changing Landscape.” PTRC created a unique, versatile animated PowerPoint presentation to demonstrate the stormwater problem. With the support of elected officials, the Stormwater SMART program was solidified through a second outreach and education effort targeting middle school students throughout the region.


Today Stormwater SMART works with citizens from all walks of life. From toddlers to senior citizens, teachers to elected officials and everyone in between, Stormwater SMART is known throughout the Piedmont Triad as the premiere hands on Stormwater Education program. Our constantly changing website, brochures and other materials reflect the nature of an organization dedicated to providing our constituents with the most up-to-date, relevant stormwater information and participation opportunities.  See where we have been using an interactive map of our region.

About the Region

The Piedmont Triad is a diverse region, from the urban centers of Greensboro and Winston-Salem, to the smaller municipalities and rural and agricultural communities. Regardless of size, all Triad citizens need clean water. Whether we're helping protect the streams, rivers, and lakes that flow through our backyards, or cleaning up polluted waters that were once the lifeblood of the region, Stormwater SMART works hard to customize all our programs based on the communities we serve. A few of our communities rely on our programs in hopes their citizens will realize the important role clean water plays in the economic and physical well-being of the community. Many more are regulated by the Clean Water Act to provide outreach and education and public participation programs to their citizens.


Stormwater SMART (Stormwater Management and Recovery of the Triad) was created by the Piedmont Triad Regional Council (formerly the Piedmont Triad Council of Governments) to assist local governments in meeting and exceeding stormwater outreach and education requirements under the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permitting program. This is an unfunded federal mandate that requires many of our local governments to implement a comprehensive stormwater management program. Stormwater SMART also helps communities in the Haw River watershed comply with outreach, education, and public participation requirements identified in the Jordan Lake Rules. A few communities participate in the program in an effort to be proactive about water quality in their community and ensure healthy water for future generations.


Membership in Stormwater SMART is limited to PTRC member local governments within the PTRC twelve county region. Representatives from organizations and local governments from other regions, or non-PTRC member governments are welcome to attend meetings and access resources and information generated by Stormwater SMART. The following cities and counties pay yearly dues and attend quarterly board meetings. A summary of all services provided are available for each community in our Annual Report.

NPDES Requirements

NPDES Phase I and II stormwater permitting programs were established under the federal Clean Water Act and delegated to the North Carolina Division of Water Quality (DWQ) for implementation.  Phase I began in 1990 and applies to NC local governments with populations of more than 100,000.  These included larger cities like Raleigh, Durham, Charlotte, Winston-Salem, and Greensboro. Phase II is an expansion of the NPDES Phase I program and addresses stormwater discharge from communities serving less than 100,000 persons. NPDES communities are required to implement six minimum measures: Public Education and Outreach; Public Participation/Involvement; Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination; Construction Site Runoff Control; Post Construction Runoff Control; and Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping.

Stormwater SMART JurisdictionsJordan Lake Rules

The Jordan Lake watershed is governed by legislation designed to address and reduce nutrient inputs to the Lake watershed from both existing and future developments. Jordan Lake is one of the State’s biggest tourist attractions. It also serves as a municipal drinking water source for Cary, Pittsboro and other municipalities in central North Carolina. The Jordan Lake Rules are precedent-setting legislation that changes the policy landscape for land use and development in North Carolina. While many of the rules are met through NPDES Phase II requirements, the Jordan Lake Rules require municipalities and Counties in the watershed to adopt additional measures to reduce nutrient inputs to the lake. These include specific nitrogen and phosphorus reductions, agriculture rules, more stringent requirements for new and existing developments and more substantial buffer zones.


The following Counties and Municipalities participate in Stormwater SMART:
Davidson County, Randolph County, Rockingham County, Archdale, Asheboro, Burlington, Elon, Gibsonville, Graham, Green Level, Haw River, Lexington, Mebane, Oak Ridge, Randleman, Reidsville, Summerfield, Thomasville and Trinity.

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Serving: Davidson County | Randolph County | Rockingham County | Archdale | Asheboro | Burlington | Elon |Gibsonville | Graham |

Green Level | Haw River | Lexington | Mebane | Oak Ridge | Randleman | Reidsville | Summerfield | Thomasville | Trinity