CCAP

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Community Conservation Assistance Program

Chatham Soil & Water Conservation District
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The Community Conservation Assistance Program is designed to improve water quality on non-agricultural lands by helping interested participants install and in some cases help fund Best Management Practices.  Below is a list of Best Management Practices (BMPs) that help improve water quality that are offered through this program:

Abandoned Well Closures

Grassed Swale

Backyard Rain Gardens/
Bioretention Areas
Impervious Surface
Conversion
Backyard Wetlands/
Stormwater Wetlands
Pet Waste Receptacles
Cisterns

Riparian Buffer

Critical Area Planting Streambank Protection/
Stream Restoration
Diversion

 There is also additional information about the program at the Division of Soil & Water Conservation's website:  http://www.ncagr.gov/sw/ccaplandingpage.html

***If you feel that you have a water quality problem on your property such as erosion, gullies, or excess nutrient issues, please contact our office at (919) 542-8240.  We would be glad to discuss possible solutions and, when available, pursue funding opportunities.

Additional information regarding stream buffers and other watershed protection measures can be found on the Planning Department's website.

 

CCAP Best Management Practices

Abandoned Well Closures

Definition/Purpose:  The sealing and permanent closure of a supply well no longer in use.  This practice serves to prevent entry of contaminated surface water, animals, debris or other foreign substances into the well.  It also serves to eliminate the physical hazards of an open hole to people, animals and machinery. 

Details:  A well abandonment record (GW-30) must be completed by a certified well contractor and submitted to the NC Division of Water Quality.  The well closure must comply with all applicable state and local requirements for well abandonment and closure.

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Backyard Rain Gardens/Bioretention Areas

Definition/Purpose:  A Backyard Rain Garden is a smaller version of a Bioretention Area.  It is a shallow depression in the ground that captures runoff from a driveway, roof or lawn and allows it to soak into the ground, rather than running across roads, capturing pollutants and delivering them to nearby surface waters.  The rain garden or bioretention area uses plants and soils to absorb and filter pollutants from storm water runoff and return cleaner water through the ground to nearby streams.  Rain gardens and Bioretention Areas can also be effective in reducing peak runoff rates and flooding by sending water back underground to increase groundwater infiltration.

Details: Rain Gardens and Bioretention Areas are meant to drain water in less than 48 hours.  If the soil in the area does not allow this, then the site will either be designed as a wetland or another site chosen.  Native plant species capable of tolerating the extreme moisture conditions typical of this practice should be considered over non-native, invasive or exotic species that require excessive care.

Rain Garden1 Rain Garden2

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Backyard Wetlands/Stormwater Wetlands

Definition/Purpose:  Backyard Wetlands and Stormwater Wetlands are constructed to mimic the functions of natural wetlands.  Wetlands provide an efficient way to filter runoff from driveways, roofs and parking lots and remove a variety of pollutants such as suspended solids, nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus), heavy metals and petroleum compounds. 

Details:  Wetlands should be located in low-lying areas that will naturally and easily be converted to a wetland structure.  Just like Rain Gardens, Wetlands should include native plants whenever possible.

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Cisterns 

Definition/Purpose:  Cisterns are above or below ground storage tanks for rainwater harvesting systems used to collect and store rainwater.  They are intended to reduce stormwater runoff, encourage runoff infiltration and conserve water.

Details:  Only cisterns over 250 gallons in capacity can be cost shared on through this program.  They must also be a part of larger practice (for example, combined with a rain garden).  In other words, cisterns cannot be cost shared on if it is a stand-alone practice.  Cisterns may be be installed underground, but at the participants own cost.

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Critical Area Planting

Definition/Purpose:  Critical Area Planting means an area of highly erodible land that cannot be stabilized by ordinary conservation treatment on which permanent perennial vegetative cover is established and protected to improve water quality.  Benefits may include reduced soil erosion and sedimentation.

Details:  Netting may be required to hold material in place until vegetation is established.  Area shall be protected from traffic until vegetation is established.  Slopes greater than 30% must be planted in trees or shrubs.  A soil test will be required to determine what if any fertilizer supplements will be needed for establishment.  Soil testing is a free service offered in the state of North Carolina and soil testing boxes are available through the Cooperative Extension office.  Their office is located on the upper floor of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro.

Critical Area Planting Before

Critical Area Planting After

This is a before picture of what a potential Critical Area Planting site might look like.  In this case there was a very steep hill which grass could not become established.

This is an after picture of the same site which has been mulched and planted in shrubs.  Steep hillsides are common areas for erosion to occur.  Planting proper vegetation will help reduce erosion.

 

Pictures compliments of Buncombe County SWCD.

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Diversion

Definition/Purpose:  A diversion is a channel constructed across the slope to control drainage by diverting excess water from an area to improve water quality.  Benefits may include reduced soil erosion, sedimentation. Diversion are sometimes used in conjunction with other practices such as rain gardens to improve water quality further.

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Grassed Swale

Definition/Purpose:  A Grassed Swale is a natural or constructed channel that is shaped or graded to required dimensions and established in suitable vegetation for the stable conveyance of runoff to improve water quality.  Benefits may include reduced soil erosion and sedimentation.

Details:  Best Management Practices may be required upstream to prevent the Grassed Swale from being overloaded with stormwater, which may damage the swale.  A soil test will be required to determine what if any fertilizer supplements will be needed to establish vegetation.  Soil testing is a free service offered in the state of North Carolina and soil testing boxes are available through the Cooperative Extension office.  Their office is located on the upper floor of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro.

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Impervious Surface Conversion

Definition/Purpose:  Impervious Surfaces consist of asphalt, concrete, brick, and stone.  These materials seal surfaces, repel water and prevent precipitation from infiltrating soils.  When these impervious materials are removed and replaced with vegetation, it is intended to reduce stormwater runoff and reduce the amount of pollutants transported to nearby surface waters. 

Details:  Sites where Impervious Surfaces are removed must be replaced with vegetation.  A soil test will be required to determine what if any fertilizer supplements will be needed to establish vegetation.  Soil testing is a free service offered in the state of North Carolina and soil testing boxes are available through the Cooperative Extension office.  Their office is located on the upper floor of the Agriculture Building in Pittsboro.

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Pet Waste Receptacles

Definition/Purpose:  Pet Waste Receptacles are designed to encourage pet owners to pick up after their animals in parks, neighborhoods and apartment complexes so as to prevent waste from entering nearby surface waters.  Waste contains nutrients (nitrogen and phosphorus) as well as harmful bacteria that has the potential to pollute surface water.

Details:  This practice is intended for high-traffic public areas.  A maintenance plan will be required detailing who or what organization will be responsible for replacing waste bags as needed and emptying trash receptacles. 

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Riparian Buffer

Definition/Purpose:  A Riparian Buffer is an area adjacent to a perennial stream where permanent vegetative cover is established to improve water quality.  Riparian Buffers act like a filter, capturing nutrients and sediment before it reaches the stream. 

Details:  Riparian Buffers must be at least 15 feet wide, but the wider the better.  Only native trees and shrubs will be allowed in Riparian Buffers.

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Streambank Protection and Stream Restoration

Definition/Purpose:  Streambank Protection and Stream Restoration projects are intended to stabilize stream banks and channels, and return streams to their natural state.  Benefits include reduced erosion and sedimentation, reduced flooding and better wildlife habitat

Details:  Upland practices may be required to help ensure the success of a stream restoration project.  Monitoring of the site both before and after is a part of the practice. 

 Streambank Restore Before  Streambank Restore After
 Before picture of a Streambank Restoration  After picture of a Streambank Restoration

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