Stormwater Management

Stormwater Management

Welcome to Stormwater Management

If you suspect an illicit discharge into the County stormwater system or waters of the state, immediately call the Enivronmental Comments Line at (404) 294-2007.


The mission of Stormwater Management is to reduce the amount of pollutants that enter the stormwater drainage system, also known as the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4), to the Maximum Extent Possible (MEP) in order to protect water quality and satisfy water quality requirements.  This is accomplished through MS4 inspections, maintenance and design, public education, and community involvement. These methods are used to find and eliminate the sources of the pollution that enters the MS4. 


Here are some of the measures used to help achieve our mission.

·        Public Education and Community Involvement

Ø  Through Public Education and Community Involvement (PECI) DeKalb County strives to educate citizens about water quality issues and the importance of protecting water resources. It also allows citizens to become involved in the efforts to improve water quality and increase the use of green infrastructure and low impact development Best Management Practices (BMPs). The activities include storm drain marking, recycling and school presentations. To find out more about our Public Education and Community Involvement opportunities visit Public Education and Community Involvement.


·        Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination

Ø  The Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination (IDDE) program proactively identifies intentional and unintentional illicit discharges into the MS4 or waters of the state. While complete elimination of illicit discharges is a goal that may be difficult to achieve, this program helps minimize the occurrence of illicit discharges in the County.  If you suspect an illicit discharge into the County stormwater system or waters of the state, immediately call the Environmental Comments Line at (404) 294-2007.


·        Impaired Waterbodies Plan (IWP)

Ø  A waterbody is any significant accumulation of surface water. Some familiar types of waterbodies are creeks, streams, rivers, lakes and oceans.  The Environmental Protection Division (EPD) is the state agency that assesses waterbodies to see if they meet their water quality standard. If a waterbody does not meet its water quality standard it is considered impaired or threatened. The EPD compiles a list of impaired waters (303(d) list) and submits the list to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for approval every two years.  An Impaired Waterbodies Monitoring and Implementation Plan (IWP) must be prepared for each stream that is on the 303(d) list. The IWP includes a list of suggested improvement measures.


Currently, there are twenty-five (25) streams in DeKalb County on EPD’s 303(d) list. The reason that over 90% of the County’s streams are on the 303(d) list is because of stormwater pollution. There are many contributing factors to pollution entering our stormwater system, resulting in impaired waterbodies, but there are two main factors. The first is Point-Source Pollution. Point-Source pollution is pollution where you can point to the source where the pollution starts and where it ends. Examples of point source pollution are factories and power plants. The second is Non-Point-Source Pollution. With Non-Point source pollution, you cannot point to the source. It can come from oil, pet waste, fertilizer, litter, grass clippings sediment, and any other contaminants that end up on the ground. Stormwater picks up these contaminants as it washes over yards, sidewalks, driveways, and parking lots as it makes its way to a waterbody. The stormwater and the pollution it has picked up is eventually deposited into state waters such as creeks and streams. This type of pollution is hard to trace since you do not know where it starts, only where it ends. However, we can all help by keeping litter, oil, fertilizers, grass clippings, paint, and pet waste out of the storm drains, rivers, creeks, and streams. Help us by being the solution to water pollution.


To learn more about the watershed in your area visit: