Stormwater Management Questions

Q: What is a stormwater utility?

A: A stormwater utility is County-created separate entity and fund that has been established to fund operations and maintenance functions on existing stormwater infrastructure, administration of the County’s federally-mandated municipal permit, engineering and technical review staff, and the design and construction of capital improvements.

Q: Why do we have a stormwater utility fee?

A: Georgetown County faces a number of stormwater problems: steadily increasing flooding and water pollution problems as the County grows; unfunded state and federal mandates to control these problems and meet standards; aging, deteriorating, and undersized system to handle stormwater; and competition for dollars with other County needs. The County studied these problems and how they might be solved, and after looking at all the options for solving these problems, found that this was the best path. A stormwater fee is the most equitable revenue source to solve the County’s stormwater problems. The stormwater program will enable the County to comply with federal regulations as well as protect our community through improved drainage and protection of local waters. After studying the issue, the County Council passed an ordinance establishing the stormwater enterprise fund after three readings, on June 12th, 2007.

Q: What is impervious surface?

A: Impervious surfaces are hard surfaces that do not allow rain or snow to infiltrate at the same rate as natural surface, like grass or dirt. It includes surfaces such as rooftops, driveways, patio areas, sidewalks, parking lots and other man-made structures.

Q: I need my ditches cleaned, how do I make a request?

A: If your property is located on a Georgetown County Owned Road you may put your request in with Georgetown County Public Works. You may contact them at (843) 545-3438 or put in a work order with the County’s work order system called  “At Your Request”  by visiting the website. Online Request System

Q: What do I need to do if I want to develop property (Commercial, residential subdivision, etc.) to ultimately receive a Georgetown County Land Disturbance Permit?   

A: To apply for a Georgetown County Land Disturbance Permit you will need to submit a complete submittal

( ) to  For specific questions or to set up a preliminary submittal meeting, please contact the office directly at 843-545-3524. 

Q: Do I need an encroachment permit? How can I apply for one?

A: If you are planning on doing any work in the right-of-way of a Georgetown County Owned Road you will need an encroachment permit. Please submit a completed Georgetown County Encroachment Application and email the application, site plan, and review fee credit form to

Q: How can citizens find out about drainage problems or drainage projects within the County? 

A: Georgetown County Department of Public Services (DPS) manages a Watershed Committee where committee members made up of DPS Staff discuss drainage problems that were submitted by Public Works or by citizens that were beyond routine maintenance.  Discussions on how to solve the drainage issues lead to drainage studies and ultimately to designing drainage improvement projects. All drainage construction projects throughout the County are a direct result of a drainage service request. Many drainage projects need easements, or access to install a drainage ditch or pipe on private property.    

Q: Why can’t the County fix all of the drainage systems (ditches, pipes, swales, etc.) throughout the County? 

A: Georgetown County can only work on (in) Georgetown County owned property, right-of-way, or a Georgetown County Easement.  Georgetown County cannot work on a state (SCDOT) road or private property. Many drainage systems flow across private property, state property, and County owned roads.  It is only on the County property that the County can work. When the County designs a drainage improvement project where easement may need to be acquired, staff seeks easements from private property owners. As a property owner, you’re not required to provide an easement to the County for the drainage improvement project, however, for some projects, without an easement the project cannot be constructed.