Department of Engineering

Division of Storm Water Management

The Columbus Consolidated Government's Storm Water Management Division's purpose and goal is to: Ensure the protection and improvement of our surface water resources within Muscogee County and to Ensure the Columbus/Muscogee County's compliance with its Georgia Environmental Protection Division issued Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System Discharge Permit (GAR000202). These goals are accomplished through the administration of several programs listed below.

Water Quality Monitoring (WQM)

Storm Water Management staff routinely monitor Storm Water Runoff quantity and quality at five permitted sites located throughout Muscogee County. The Water Quality Parameters we routinely test for include:

  • Biochemical Oxygen Demand
  • Chemical Oxygen Demand
  • Oil & Grease
  • Phenols
  • Cyanide
  • Cadmium
  • Copper
  • Lead
  • Total Suspended Solids
  • Total Dissolved Solids
  • Ph
  • Total Phosphorous
  • Dissolved Phosphorous
  • Ammonia-Nitrogen
  • Organic Nitrogen
  • Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen
  • Nitrate-Nitrogen
  • Fecal-Coliform
  • Fecal Steptococcus
  • Zinc

In addition to monitoring water quality and quantity during rain events, we monitor the water quality and quantity at the five permitted sites during dry weather conditions to determine background pollutant levels. The Columbus Water Works Department of Water Quality Monitoring currently conducts the analytical testing associated with this program. - Five creeks within Muscogee County have been designated as not supporting or partially supporting their intended use (fishing). We routinely monitor the water quality in these creeks to both determine pollutant concentrations and identify potential sources of the pollution. The five creeks listed in Muscogee County of the State 303(d) List of Impaired Waters include:

Creek Name Designation Pollutant Potential Source

Bull Creek Not Supporting Fecal Coliform Copper Non-point source, urban run-off

Mill Branch Creek & Unnamed Tributary Partially Supported Fecal Coliform Non-point source, urban run-off

Tiger Creek Partially Supported Poor Habit Quality Non-point source

Weracoba Creek Not Supporting Fecal Coliform Non-point source, urban run-off

Public Information and Education Program

The Public Information and Education Program is one of the most effective tools we have to protect the quality our creeks and streams. Listed below are several of the projects, events, and organizations we participate in:

  • Help-the-Hooch - with over 10,000 volunteers last year, Columbus' event remains by far the largest in the State of Georgia.

  • City-Wide Clean-Up - occurring every April, this event coincides with the larger Great American Clean-Up campaign.

Illicity Connection Detection and Elimination Program

Identifying and eliminating the sources of pollution that lead to the degradation of water quality in Muscogee County is the goal of this program. Within the program, we utilize three tools to help us achieve our goals.

Project Creek Walk

Every fall, Storm Water Management staff walk over 50 miles of Muscogee county’s creeks, streams, and lakes looking for illicit connections to the Municipal Storm Sewer System (MS4), illegal dumping, and flow obstructions (i.e., fallen trees).

Field Screening Analysis

Storm Water Management Division staff routinely collect samples from various locations within our MS4 and test them for several common pollutants. If pollutants are found at appreciable levels, attempts are made to identify the source(s) of the pollution and eliminate them if possible. The common parameters we test for include:

  • pH
  • Temperature
  • Turbidity
  • Total Chlorine
  • Copper

Industrial Storm Water Inspection Program

In Muscogee County, eighty-two industrial facilities have applied for coverage under Georgia EPD’s General Storm Water Permit GAR000000 (Storm Water Associated with Industrial Activities). The City of Columbus is required to conduct annual and spot inspections of these facilities to ensure that the facilities do not contribute pollutants to the Storm Sewer System and maintain compliance with their permit by performing tasks associated with their Storm Water Pollution Prevention Plan (SWP3). Required tasks may include any combination of the following:

  • Quarterly Storm Water Runoff Collection and Examination
  • Annual Storm Water Runoff Collection and Laboratory Testing
  • Spill Prevention and Countermeasure Training for Employees
  • Quarterly Site Inspections
  • Annual Site Inspections

Construction Storm Water Inspection Program

Six Engineering Inspectors provide technical experience in the inspection of construction sites within the public/government sectors. They serve as the primary enforcement officers to ensure contractors comply with the local ordinances pertaining to soil erosion/water quality, construction methodology and flood plain requirements.