Stormwater Master Plan
Stormwater runoff is the water that flows off of rooftops, driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, roads, and compacted soil when it rains. The stormwater runoff then flows into the City’s drainage system and eventually into our local creeks and rivers. Stormwater runoff contributes to flooding problems and washes chemicals, debris, sediment, trash, and other pollutants into the City drainage systems and our local surface water bodies. The City is responsible for the management of the public storm sewer system. Thomasville's stormwater drainage system includes City streets with drainage systems, publicly maintained detention ponds, pipe systems, catch basins, inlets, culverts, and ditches, all of which must be maintained by the City to ensure they function properly when rainfall events occur.
What is a Stormwater Master Plan?
Stormwater management planning is necessary to protect public safety and infrastructure while meeting regulatory requirements. Due to aging infrastructure, land use changes from development, and recent extreme rainfall events, the development of a comprehensive city-wide Stormwater Master Plan (SWMP) was identified as a need. The City pursued and was awarded a Regional Water Plan Seed Grant from the Georgia Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Division to partially fund the SWMP. The SWMP will provide the structure to establish a drainage capital improvement program and a policy framework that will protect public safety, infrastructure, and the environment.
In order to address this need and develop the SWMP, the City and community will work with a consultant, Goodwyn Mills Cawood (GMC), over the next year to gather input, assess stormwater issues across the City, and prioritize capital improvement projects and maintenance needs. Also, in conjunction with the Parks & Rec Master Plan, the two project teams will look for opportunities where park upgrades and projects can incorporate stormwater amenities that will address flooding and water quality issues, such as regional detention, streambank stabilization, or green infrastructure.
The SWMP has recently completed several items to establish a solid framework to address existing drainage problems or areas of concerns.
- The city held four Open House meetings in March and had available an on-line survey in Feb and Mar to capture citizen input on their drainage concerns.
- The consultant team of GMC created a map that delineated the city’s watersheds and then overlaid it with the drainage concerns and existing Land Use data.
- We are developing a list of drainage projects, the cost estimate, and recommended priority.
The next big task that GMC will be working with us on is to update our City codes and policies pertaining to stormwater.
- GMC has met with staff and several local engineers, who do a lot of development work in the city, to get their thoughts on our current codes and policies pertaining to stormwater.
- Over the next few months, GMC will evaluate that input and then present to a draft update on our City codes and policies pertaining to stormwater that will more clearly provide guidance to the community.