Xcellence > Departments > Public Services > Stormwater


​What is stormwater?
Stormwater runoff is precipitation that does not soak into ground, but flows over land into storm drains. As stormwater flows across surfaces it picks up pollutants from the ground. Water that flows into stormwater drains is released back into natural water sources and does not go to a treatment plant.

Where does it go?
Sewer pipes and stormwater pipes are not connected! Stormwater flows back out into natural bodies of water, not into treatment plants. In Salisbury, storm drainage eventually drains to one of three main creeks: Grants, Town and Crane. These creeks drain to the Yadkin River and to High Rock Lake.

What problems does it cause?
Examples of stormwater pollutants include sediments, plant nutrients, metals, organic materials, oil and grease, pet waste and pesticides. Since stormwater runoff does not go though a treatment plant, increased amounts of pollutants entering stormwater drains causes an increase in surface water pollution and lower water quality.
Problems caused in water bodies may include erosion/sedimentation, turbidity, eutrophication, increased salinity and habitat disruption.
Eutrophication results from excess plant nutrients (nitrogen & phosphorous—found in many fertilizers) causing an overgrowth of algae, leading to decreased oxygen levels in surface waters. This creates problems for aquatic life.

What can I do as a citizen to help?
  • Do not dump waste in storm drains.
  • Clean up pet waste.
  • Landscape with fewer hard-paved (impervious) surfaces.
  • Prevent erosion by vegetating bare soil.
  • Reduce pesticide use.
  • Clean up auto/household chemical spills with absorbents instead of rinsing with water.
  • Do not litter.
  • Do not dump grass clippings and other yard waste into street curbs and drains.

What are common allowable activities where materials and water may pass through stormwater drains?
Naturally, water will run through stormwater drains. Limiting the types of materials and water supplies that empty into Salisbury's stormwater drains is the most significant way of reducing stormwater pollutants. The following examples of such activities:

  • Water line flushing
  • Landscape irrigation
  • Diverted stream flows
  • Rising groundwater
  • Uncontaminated groundwater infiltration
  • Uncontaminated pumped groundwater
  • Discharges from potable water sources
  • Foundation drains
  • Air conditioning condensate (commercial/residential)
  • Irrigation waters (does not include reclaimed water as described in 15A NCAC 2H .0200)
  • Fresh water springs
  • Water from crawl space pumps
  • Footing drains
  • Lawn watering
  • Residential and charity car washing
  • Flows from riparian habitats and wetlands
  • Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges
  • Street wash water
  • Flows from emergency fire fighting  

 Contact Information

City of Salisbury
Stormwater Utility
210 West Franklin Street
Salisbury, NC 28144

Hours of Operation
7:30 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.
Monday - Friday

Stormwater Utility Manager
Craig Powers
(704) 216-2718

Stormwater Engineer
Chris Tester

(704) 216-7554