Stormwater Education

Storm Water Pollutants

In the City of Grayson, the Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources regularly responds to complaints of citizens or businesses dumping or discharging waste products into our streams via our storm drainage system. Common pollutants include litter, oil, detergents, grass clippings, leaves, fertilizer, cigarette butts, paint, concrete, sewage and animal waste. Each of these pollutants has an adverse effect on our waterways. So, the next time you see a storm drain, spare a moment and remember that our creeks, streams and rivers begin right there.

Report illicit discharges to our waterways, storm drains, and drainage ditches

Stormwater Education for Businesses

Vehicle Washing​

Having a clean fleet is an important part of running a successful business. However, it is important to be sure clean vehicles don’t come at the cost of a polluted environment. When wash water from vehicle washing enters a storm drain, it is directed to streams and ponds. This is because storm drains are not sewers. They are separate systems intended only to alleviate flooding. Vehicle wash water may contain soap, grease and oil, paint chips, and metals. Discharging vehicle wash water can lead to pollution and may also violate local ordinances protecting stormwater quality. Next time, make sure wash water can soak into the ground or be directed to an indoor drain. Otherwise, a commercial car wash may be the best way to have a clean fleet and a clean environment!

Dumpster Management​

The common phrase “garbage in, garbage out” can relate to many different situations, but should never relate to your business’ dumpster. Rust and corrosion can lead to holes and cracks in dumpsters that allow the garbage in the dumpster to escape with rainwater and enter a storm drain, which can lead to water pollution. I addition to that, missing drain plugs or broken lids can contribute to the problem. Be sure to keep dumpster lids closed and check for corrosion. If the dumpster is in poor condition, ask the hauler to replace it. This is a normal part of the service agreement and will ensure the garbage stays in.

Spill Response​

Spills happen. Leaks, too. It is an inevitable part of handling liquids, storing materials, or operating vehicles. The important thing is that the business is prepared to respond to spills and leaks. Having a spill kit close to storage areas or activities where spills may occur and ensuring that kit is accessible is a good start to managing spills. Drip pans are an effective way to catch leaks until a repair can be made. However, none of these tactics work if employees don’t know how to use them! Training staff to recognize problems and know how to respond is key to preventing pollution from spills and leaks. Include spill response in a morning meeting, safety update, or even on a flyer posted near the kit. Next time a spill or leak happens, make sure the cleanup happens, too.

Clean Water Act​

The Clean Water Act is an important piece of legislation that was approved in the early 1970’s and has been protecting water quality for decades. The CWA includes a section called the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, or NPDES, which creates permits for various industries including construction, municipal stormwater, and industries. Some businesses are required to obtain coverage under the industrial Stormwater General Permit and comply with certain requirements and regulations that help protect surface waters and groundwater. More information about which businesses require coverage under this permit can be found at

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Who do I call if I have a water quality concern or suspect water pollution is occuring?

A: The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources at 678.376.7000

Q: Who do I call if I see someone dumping a substance into a storm drain?

A: The Gwinnett County Department of Water Resources at 678.376.7000

Q: Who do I call if I have a stormwater drainage concern?

A: The City of Grayson at 770.963.8017