Source: NorthFulton.com

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Milton Public Works, Boy Scouts educate residents about stormwater

by BETSY RHAME-MINOR

January 08, 2013

From left: Ben Homrich, Vince Vitek, a parent, and Logan Davis.
Grant Karner and Colin Bechtel.
MILTON, Ga. — Some residents take for granted that their yard will always drain when it rains, that water running down their street will be collected in a storm drain and that nearby retention ponds will continue to function properly.

Most of the time, this is due to careful evaluation and management of stormwater through the city of Milton’s Stormwater Engineering in the Public Works Department.

It operates under a National Pollution Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) administered by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources.

As part of this, the city is required to do specific things each year called best management practices. The city submits a report to the state each year detailing what was completed.

Though the department is not responsible for stormwater systems on private property, it does periodically inspect those systems.

Jim Seeba, wastewater engineer, inspects the several hundred retention ponds in Milton on a five-year rotation.

Many residents mistakenly believe it’s the city’s responsibility to maintain area retention ponds.

“The biggest issue we have is who maintains that system [on a] private lot or common area,” Seeba said. “We’re trying to get neighbors to maintain their retention pond. Once these ponds become neglected, getting them repaired is very, very expensive.”

Retention ponds exist to collect the stormwater that goes into the storm drains in an area, releasing water into a nearby creek or stream slowly to prevent flooding and erosion, and reduce the amount of sediment and contaminants in the water.

The bottom line, Seeba said, is that, “we are all responsible whether it’s on our property or in our development. Whatever we do on our property impacts everyone else.”

Milton residents can receive more detailed information from public works by calling 678-242-2500.

Scouts mark Milton’s drains

MILTON, Ga. – The state of Georgia requires that Milton mark its storm drains.

Cub Scout Pack 3000 has volunteered to do this for the Public Works Department. The effort for these fourth-grade boys is headed up by Jennifer Bechtel whose son is in the pack.

“It’s easy enough to implement,” Bechtel said. “The boys love it.”

The storm drain markers are made to last 15 to 20 years. When the boys visit area neighborhoods to put the markers on storm drains, they leave behind information for homeowners at each door on how to take care of these drains. Often the Scouts get to talk with homeowners in person.

“They were actually educating the adults,” said Jack Lindon, the chairperson of Milton Grows Green, a citizen environmental committee.

The Scouts first marked 43 storm drains, and then volunteered to mark all of the 100 storm drains required by the state of Georgia’s NPDES regulations for the year.

The Boy Scouts are enjoying the project and even pick up trash they find while they’re out marking the drains.

“It’s meaningful,” Bechtel said. “It’s fun for them.”