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Stormwater Case Studies Search Results

Case Study Location: Georgia: Metro Atlanta

Case Study Title: Reaching Citizens with Workshops and an Informative Web Site

Minimum Control Measure: Public involvement/participation

Atlanta's Clean Water Campaign LogoThe Clean Water Campaign offers a series of popular workshops in partnership with the University of Georgia Cooperative Extension Service and other agencies. These workshops have been instrumental in educating members of the public and encouraging them to reduce stormwater pollution. In addition, the Clean Water Campaign's comprehensive Web site, in English and Spanish, details how to reduce stormwater pollution around the home and on the job.

Location: Georgia: Metro Atlanta
Annual Rainfall: 50 inches
Population: 4,112,198 (2000 Census, 20 counties in the metro Atlanta area)
Year the Program Started: 2001

Contact Information:

Kostoula Vallianos
Clean Water Campaign Exit EPA Site
40 Courtland St NE
Atlanta, GA 30303
Phone: (404) 463-3259  


The mission of the Clean Water Campaign (CWC) is to build awareness of water quality problems and solutions in the Atlanta region. The CWC conducts an average of 6 to 10 workshops each month; fewer workshops are held during the winter. Each workshop lasts 1 to 1.5 hours and has 40 to 100 attendees. The workshops are more popular in the late winter and early spring when citizens are gearing up to get outside in their yards. In addition to "You're the Solution to Stormwater Pollution," the CWC offers workshops on the following subjects:

    Group of students volunteering
  • Rain gardens
  • Automobile servicing
  • Xeriscaping
  • Pest management and lawn care
  • Composting
  • Septic tank maintenance
  • Planting trees to protect streams

The septic tank maintenance, rain garden, and pest management/lawn care workshops are the most popular. See "Materials" below for sites from which you can download workshop agendas and presentations.

The CWC advertises its workshops by issuing press releases to local periodicals, including notices in utility bills, posting notices on online calendars, and posting flyers at libraries. To get more participation, several counties have used the materials (such as presentations and evaluation forms) to conduct their own workshops. The CWC provides advertising for such workshops.

"You're the Solution to Stormwater Pollution" is the newest workshop offering, and it will cover the following:

  • Storm drain purpose, maintenance, and care
  • Lawn and yard care (application of fertilizer, erosion, pest management, management of yard trimmings, and composting)
  • Pets (the importance of picking up after them and how to manage fleas)
  • Auto maintenance and care
  • Streamside litter removal and monitoring
  • Recycling
  • Household hazardous waste disposal
  • Fats, oils, and grease disposal

A Web Site That Encourages Action

Clean Water Campaign Web Page The CWC's Web site offers plenty of ideas for citizens who want to help reduce stormwater pollution at home and at work. The household practices cover auto maintenance, car washing, hazardous materials, lawn care, pet waste, trash and litter, septic tank maintenance, and rain gardens. Commercial industries can check lists of best management practices (BMPs) for auto service/salvage businesses, landscaping services, restaurants, and car washes. The Web site also has information on common BMPs for the construction industry.

Looking Ahead

Building on the success of the CWC's first videotaped workshop, which the local public access station aired 161 times over about 2 months, the campaign has videotaped more workshops and is now editing the tapes. The tapes will be made available to the public access station and placed at libraries for citizens to check out.

Effectiveness of the Program

To determine the effectiveness of the workshops, evaluation forms are distributed to participants. More than 85 percent of people that attend a workshop have never received previous information on the subject matter. More than 80 percent of the attendees request to have additional workshops given in their community on the topic presented. Ninety-five percent of attendees say that the information is informative and easy to understand.

An informal follow-up survey of the workshops is conducted by emailing a small sample of the attendees and placing calls to those attendees who had questions that needed to be answered after the meetings. Ten percent of residents who attended the rain garden workshops installed rain gardens within months of attending the workshop. Between 50 and 60 percent of the septic tank workshop attendees had their tanks pumped following the workshop. Although the number of people who actually recycle is not measured, the number of people who say they have recycled and will continue to recycle has held strong. The number of people who participate in stream cleanups has grown significantly over three years. The number of pounds of litter collected per mile each year has significantly dropped, while the number of people who participate and the number of miles cleaned have greatly increased, as evidenced by data collected during the annual Rivers Alive Cleanups:

YearVolunteersPounds of garbageMiles cleanedPounds per mile
200118,763117,999662 178

Additional Materials Related to this Case Study:

Additional Resources and Tools for this Minimum Control Measure

EPA presents this case study as an example to which Phase I and Phase II municipal stormwater programs can refer as they develop their own stormwater programs. Although EPA has reviewed the case studies, they should not be considered officially endorsed by the Agency and are not intended to represent full compliance with EPA’s stormwater Phase II minimum control measures. Each community must decide on the appropriate BMPs necessary to meet its unique permit requirements and local conditions.

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