For the latest information on coronavirus, or COVID-19, including service and program impacts in Chatham County, please visit the coronavirus webpage.

Watershed Protection

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Effective immediately, the following adjustments will be made to protect employees and the general public and to ensure that service levels can be maintained throughout the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Staff will not conduct meetings in person or keep regular office hours in the Dunlap Building. We will continue to answer emails, return phone calls, conduct plan reviews, process applications, conduct inspections, issue permits, etc., but we will do so remotely and/or without interaction with others. We strongly encourage applicants to submit plans and applications online through the CityView Portal found here:

If you are not familiar with CityView Portal, you may also register and find instructions at the website link above.

If electronic submittals are not possible, you may leave submittals in the main lobby of the Dunlap Building in the designated box provided. Please call staff at the numbers provided at the bottom of this page and leave a voicemail indicating that you have made a submittal in the drop box. The lobby for Planning/Central Permitting/Environmental Health will be locked.

We will leave outgoing paperwork in a labeled designated box in the main lobby. You will be notified of the date your submittal is available for pickup.

Every effort will be made to schedule necessary appointments on a case-by-case basis.

Please don’t hesitate to call for more detail about any of the above information. Leave a voicemail and staff will return your call ASAP. We do not anticipate major service interruptions but we do ask for your patience as we work through these adjustments during this time.

Thank you!


The Watershed Protection Department includes the following major programs:


Erosion Control                                 
Riparian Buffers
Flood Damage Prevention

Click here for the updated 2017 Fee Schedule


Soil Erosion and Sedimentation Controldelegated authority by NCDEQ to permit and inspect all land-disturbing activity in the County except for bona fide agriculture and silviculture. 



Stormwater Program: responsible for administration and enforcement of the Chatham County Stormwater Ordinance. Services include plan reviews and permit issuance for development applications and Illicit Discharge Reporting.


Riparian Buffers: services include making or approving surface water classifications, review and approval of riparian buffer maps, interpreting the Watershed Protection Ordinance for uses, variances and appeals.

buffer photo

(Photo by Peter Theye)

Floodplain: services generally include technical assistance to staff and citizen’s concerning all matters pertaining to the Special Flood Hazard Areas in Chatham County and the Flood Damage Protection Ordinance.

For questions regarding land clearing for timber operations, click here.

To report a roadway or culvert drainage issue, click here.

Department Staff:

Watershed Protection Director: Rachael Thorn, CPESC
Phone: 919-545-8343
Fax: 919-545-2698

Erosion Control and Stormwater: Morgan DeWit, PE (919) 542-8268
Riparian Buffers: Drew Blake, CESSWI (919) 545-8394
Residential Development: Justin Hasenfus, CPESC (919) 545-8344