Environmental Services

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A Department of the Engineering Services Division

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Columbia County Environmental Services Department functions to protect and preserve the natural resources in our community by reducing the impacts of flooding, erosion, and water pollution.

This mission is accomplished through adherence with Federal, State, and Local regulations in order to promote sustainable growth while preserving environmental and public health through services, education, and enforcement.

Environmental Services responsibilities are detailed below. Please contact us at 706-855-RAIN (7246) with any questions!

 

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Land Disturbance Inspection 

Our Erosion and Sediment Control (E&S) Inspection Team is responsible for land disturbance inspection associated with subdivisions, commercial, and residential sites ranging from new houses to decks.

Sites are inspected for compliance with applicable site-specific plans, County Ordinance, and the 2016 Edition for Erosion and Sediment Control in Georgia (Green Book).

If you have a building permit and need an initial E&S inspection please call the inspection line at 706-447-7733 or email at inspections@columbiacountyga.gov by 4:30 p.m. the business day before you need the inspection. You must provide the permit number, physical address, and your contact information. 

For all other E&S inspection requests call 706-855-RAIN (7246) or email LDP@columbiacountyga.gov. You must provide the permit number, physical address, and your contact information. 

For E&S complaints contact 3-1-1

 

 

permitLand Disturbance Permit

An approved Land Disturbance Permit application is required for all projects in Columbia County.  For detailed information visit the Land Disturbance Permit page.  Call 706-855-RAIN (7246) or email
LDP@columbiacountyga.gov with questions.

 

 

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Floodplain Management

Floodplains are a vital part of healthy waterbodies and safe roadways. For information on the function and benefits of floodplain, flood hazards, flood zones, and other regulation please visit our Floodplain Management pages. Contact us at floodplain@columbiacountyga.gov or 706-855-RAIN (7246) with any questions.

 

 

 

 

 

MS4 Permit Compliance

Columbia County helps protect our waters through compliance with the Georgia Environmental Protection Division (EPD) Stormwater Permit No. GAG610000 Phase II Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS4). The MS4 Permit covers discharges of stormwater from the MS4 system to waters of the State. Actions geared toward pollution prevention are accomplished through public education and outreach, illicit discharge detection and elimination, construction site stormwater runoff control, and post-construction stormwater management to include inspection, repair, and maintenance of the County’s storm system. More details can be found in our Stormwater Management Plan (SWMP). The County SWMP is still under review by the EPD and will be published here once it has been approved. Please check back to view our SWMP. Contact us at environmentalservices@columbiacountyga.gov or 706-855-RAIN (7246) with any questions. 

 

Public Education and Outreach

We are more than happy to visit your event for public education or partner in outreach efforts. 
We offer presentations and partnering opportunities on:

The importance of water and protecting our natural resources

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  • Basic ways that everyone can help prevent water pollution

  • Watershed and Water Cycle basics

  • Flyover videos of our area's watershed

  • Interactive Enviroscape table top model demonstration of pollutant impacts on our landscapes

  • Presentation topics and length can be tailored to your needs (generally 30 to 50 minutes). Contact us at environmentalservices@columbiacountyga.gov or 706-855-RAIN (7246) with any questions.

     

    Water Pollution Prevention
    An Ounce of Prevention is Worth a Pound of Cure. – Benjamin Franklin

    Prevent Stormwater Pollution! YOU are the solution!

    Polluted stormwater runoff has been identified as the nation’s primary cause of water quality problems. 

    Rain, also known as stormwater runoff, that flows across rooftops, lawns, streets, and construction sites collects various forms of pollutants and washes them into our creeks and streams.

    Even a small amount of sediment/dirt, oil and grease, fecal coliform from animal feces, pesticides and fertilizers, lawn clippings, trash and debris, and heavy metals from the roadways can cause significant pollution.

    Very often, it is thought that stormwater runoff flows into the sanitary sewer and to the water treatment plant so that it can be treated before it is released into surface waters.  It actually enters into our surface waters untreated through our storm drains. 

    Each pollutant that enters our rivers, streams, and creeks can harm the natural aquatic habitat, and can end up in our drinking water.  A significant portion of Columbia County’s drinking water supply comes from surface water sources such as the Savannah River, Clark’s Hill Lake, as well as local creeks and streams.

    Now that you know the facts, how are YOU going to help eliminate pollutants before they enter the system?

    Together, as the citizens of Columbia County, we can help eliminate pollutants before they harm us.

     

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    How can you help? Quick tips:

    •  Follow package instructions for pesticide and fertilizer application
    • Dispose of hazardous wastes and auto fluids at designated collection or recycling locations
    • Clean up after your pet
    • Have your septic system inspected and pumped, at a minimum, every 3-5 years so that it operates properly
    • Use a commercial car wash or wash your car on a lawn or other unpaved surface
    • Sweep up yard waste or debris rather than hosing down areas
    • Keep grass clippings, leaves and other yard waste out of the storm drain
    • When landscaping your yard, choose plants that have low requirements for water, fertilizers, and pesticides
    • Preserve existing trees, and plant trees and shrubs to prevent sediment erosion and to facilitate infiltration of water into the soil
    • Use grass swales and porous walkways to decrease the amount of stormwater runoff

    Report any illegal dumping of wastes to 3-1-1

    Contact us at environmentalservices@columbiacountyga.gov or 706-855-RAIN (7246) with any questions.