What trickles from the tops of mountains flows through the hills of our community, eventually making its way to the sea. Everyone lives downstream. Water is our undeniable connection. We bear witness to a climate that is changing in unpredictable ways: sea level rise, shore erosion, severe flooding, extended droughts, and more. At Sustainable Midlands, we are champions of our water and hope that you'll join us, too. Scroll down for helpful water resources.
What is stormwater?
According to Richland County Stormwater Management Division, "Stormwater is any water that falls on the ground when it rains or snows. Any pollution on the ground is carried away by the runoff. Water flowing into storm drains is not treated, so the pollution ends up in our local waterways." Columbia's water system is home to many watersheds. If toxic chemicals or debris flow from our stormwater, that makes its way to our watersheds, our bodies of water, and eventually to our kitchen sinks and beyond.
What is a
You live in a watershed. In fact, everyone does! But what is a watershed? It's pretty simple. A watershed is an area of land where all streams and rainfall drain into a common place. Think: a river, reservoir, the mouth of a bay, or other. From economic benefits like job sustainability and overall livability of a city, to environmental benefits like flood mitigation and carbon storage, to health benefits like clean drinking water and more, having healthy watersheds are critical for our communities.
How is my
The quality of our water is important for our everyday lives. In fact, our public drinking water systems provide drinkable water for nearly 80% of all South Carolinians! What flows through our bodies of water, carried down our storm drains, and flushed from our drainage pipes is all treated to the point of reuse and drinkability. It's all connected! If you enjoy swimming, fishing, or even floating down one of our three rivers, be sure to check the quality of our water before you jump in.
Where's my watershed?
Now you know that you live in a watershed. But exactly which one do you live in and what does that mean for you and your family? Learn more about your watersheds by clicking the button below.
Smith branch watersheds
Sustainable Midlands has created two watershed alliances since our inception. Learn more about these watersheds, where they flow, and how to get involved.
10 at-home steps for
Conserve water every day. Take shorter showers, fix leaks, turn off the water when not in use.
Don’t pour toxic household chemicals down the drain! Take them to a hazardous waste center.
Use hardy plants that require little or no watering, fertilizers or pesticides in your yard.
Use grey water as much as possible.
Use surfaces like wood, brick or gravel for decks & walkways; allows rain to soak in & not run off.
Never pour used oil or antifreeze into the storm drain or the street.
Pick up after your dog and dispose of the waste in the toilet or the trash.
Walk, bike, and carpool when possible. Many pollutants in our waters come from car exhaust and car leaks.
Get Involved and Stay Vigilant! Consider adopting a stream, volunteering, or becoming a part of your local watershed alliance. Vote for candidates that believe in water stewardship and stay informed about spills, leaks, and more hazards that affect our waterways.