About Us

​Awards & Accomplishments

Pam pointing to her hat that says turn around don't drown.

National Association of Flood and Stormwater Management Agencies Excellence in Communications and Stormwater Management Green Infrastructure Awards Program (2020)

Storm Water Services received the top overall prize for the highest average ranking of all Excellence in Communications submittals for large municipalities for the "Turn Around, Don't Drown" flood safety educational campaign, first place in the Improving Water Quality category for the "Scoop the Poop" flagging educational campaign and first place in the Green Infrastructure Awards for the Reedy Creek Stream Restoration Project. Read more.


The Water Environment Federation National Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure “Overall Performance” Award (2020)

Storm Water Services received the "Overall Performance" award in the Large Municipality category and the "Gold Level" designation in the innovation and project management categories.  Read more.

Kruti S. Desai: The City of Charlotte is honored to be recognized by the Water Environment Federation for improving and protecting our waterways. Being recognized as a high-performing program with the overall highest score for large municipalities is an honor and we're especially proud to be recognized as a leader in innovation and project management.

Mike Davis: So great cities require great infrastructure. The City of Charlotte is growing rapidly and so to support that growth, we both got to keep up with our existing infrastructure, but also make sure that the water we're sending back to our streams is as clean as it can be.

Kruti S. Desai: With more than 850,000 residents and about 2000 miles of streams, our stormwater program is critical to protecting the environment and sustaining the quality of life we enjoy in Charlotte.

We have the largest municipal stream and wetland mitigation bank in North Carolina. Starting in 2004, this bank has funded and restored over 17 miles of streams. The Reedy Creek stream restoration project was partially funded through this bank. Using a progressive design-build approach with a single contractor for design and construction, surface water quality and habitat were improved along 40,000 feet of stream. We're also using an innovative approach with stormwater control measures. For over 20 years, we've installed and monitored more than 40 of these pollution control devices to determine which work best locally. Those found to be effective may be installed by developers when required.

We are working to transform urbanized creeks into healthy stream ecosystems. At the Chantilly Ecological Sanctuary at Briar Creek, we partnered with Mecklenburg County to restore over 4500 feet of streams with features like curves to slow the flow of water, ripples to add oxygen for fish and rocks and logs to provide habitat. But that's not all. We installed a wet pond and constructed wetlands to remove pollutants and reduce flood risks. 

We have one of the most comprehensive local stream monitoring programs in the country. The data is used to find pollution sources, determine stream and aquatic health and monitor trends. The overall goal of collecting and analyzing so much data is to help make science-based decisions and determine where to focus limited resources.

In May of 2020, Charlotte City Council enhanced protections for waterways, passing revisions to the city's stormwater pollution control ordinance to prohibit the use of pavement sealants with high amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, which are harmful to fish and aquatic life. Additional revisions increase the maximum daily fine for illegal pollutant discharges.

Our outreach and engagement efforts reach hundreds of thousands of people each year, you might find residents taking selfies with Stormy the turtle, stopping to read our scoop the poop flags, commenting on our social media posts about reporting pollution or listening to our messages on the six o'clock news. We're proud of our great work we're doing but the fact remains that many of our surface waters are impaired, so there's more work to be done.

Mike Davis: We also know that we can't do this alone, and we haven't done it alone. To be successful we must continue to work with other city departments, our county colleagues and our residents. By leveraging the resources of our local and regional partners we can achieve our goal of restoring our surface waters for our residents and for generations to come.



North Carolina Chapter of the American Public Works Association Natural Systems Project of the Year Award (2019)

Storm Water Services received this award for the Reedy Creek Stream Restoration Project. Read more.


Regional General Permit (2017)

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (USACE) and NC Department of Environmental Quality (NCDEQ) issued a regional general permit (RGP) to Charlotte Storm Water Services - the first and, to date, only programmatic RGP issued to a municipal organization in the Carolinas.

The RGP is a 5-year programmatic permit that covers the vast majority of CSWS's activities and eliminates the need for formal federal and state agency approval for many projects.  Read more.


The Environmental Protection Agency Region 4 Rain Catcher Award (2017)

Storm Water Services won this award for the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools South Park Watershed Enhancement Project. The project is an innovative stormwater control measure retrofit project implemented at an existing 71-acre school campus site in Charlotte. Read more.


National Municipal Stormwater and Green Infrastructure Overall Highest Score Award (2015)

This honor recognizes Storm Water Services’ comprehensive stormwater program and leadership in stormwater management issues, green infrastructure initiatives and reducing stormwater pollution of streams and lakes. Read more.


National Association of Flood & Stormwater Management Agencies First Place Award for Public Awareness of Flooding (2014)

This award recognizes Storm Water Services’ Sing the Jingle flood safety campaign.


National Association of County Information Officers Superior Award (2013)

Storm Water Services received this award for the "Build an A.R.K." (Awareness, Responsibility, Knowledge) flood safety campaign.



Questions? Contact:

John Wendel, Mecklenburg County

Sr. Communications Specialist

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services

Leo Caplanides, City of Charlotte

Sr. Public Information Specialist

Charlotte-Mecklenburg Storm Water Services