The Stormwater Management (SWM) Division is involved in a variety of community projects and outreach efforts that promote clean water strategies in the county. Some of these efforts are described below.
The Howard County Department of Public Works Stormwater Management Division will hold a public meeting on Monday, January 30, 2023, at 7:00 p.m., in the Hockley Room at the Elkridge Branch Library, located at 6540 Washington Blvd., Elkridge MD 21075. The purpose of the meeting will be to present the proposed repairs and replacement of the existing dry pond principal spillway under Guilford Road in the vicinity of 10560 Guilford Road that discharges into Pickett’s Branch near MD R32. The project is estimated to begin in the Summer of 2023 and be completed in the Summer/Fall of 2024. This meeting will include a brief presentation with exhibit boards. DPW staff and the design engineer will remain on hand afterwards to take comments and answer any questions.
A Howard County construction project to improve the stormwater management pond in the vicinity of 6364 Tamar Drive in the Village of Long Reach will include the removal and replacement of the existing spillway to bring the pond into compliance with current Maryland Department of the Environment requirements.
A public meeting was held on Wednesday, October 26, 2022. A copy of the PowerPoint presentation as well as a recording of the meeting are attached below. Comments on the material presented at the October 26th meeting are requested to be sent to [email protected] by close of business on November 18, 2022. A copy of the original design plans are attached below, as well, and are for discussion only. The design plans will be revised and re-posted when a revised design is finalized.
A second public meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, February 7, 2023, at 7:00 p.m. at the Department of Recreation and Parks Headquarters, 7120 Oakland Mills Road, Columbia, MD 21046.
The Howard County Stormwater Management Division is working on a capital project to retrofit the existing stormwater management pond located near 9562 Many Mile Mews in the Village of Kings Contrivance, Columbia, MD. This repair is required due to the poor condition of the existing metal outlet structure and pipe. A community outreach meeting was held on Wednesday, January 25, 2023, at 6:30 pm in the Lucille Clifton Rooms A/B at the East Columbia Library located at 6600 Cradlerock Way, Columbia MD 21045. This informal meeting included a brief presentation of the project. County staff and the project’s design consultant team, KCI Technologies, were on hand to answer questions.
If you were unable to attend the meeting and have questions regarding this project, please contact Michele Monde at 410-313-0844 or email [email protected]
On Wednesday, December 7, 2022, DPW Stormwater Management Division presented the design plans for the Many Mile Mews Pond Repair project at the virtual Village of King’s Contrivance Board Meeting. The pond’s infrastructure is deteriorating and DPW’s Stormwater Management Division plans to replace the existing principal spillway and riser with a concrete principal spillway pipe and riser structure to repair the facility, create several forebays to provide water quality treatment, and stabilize the inflows with riprap. Riprap will also be placed at the outfall to reduce erosive velocities, and a section of the existing sanitary sewer line located within the dam embankment will be lined to protect the structural integrity of the pipe.
Howard County Department of Public Works’ (DPW) Stormwater Management Division in conjunction with the Department of Recreation & Parks held a public meeting on Wednesday, November 30, 2022, at 6:30 p.m., in the Hawthorn Center located at 6175 Sunny Spring in Columbia, to present plans to remove the severely undermined pedestrian bridge behind 11856 Bright Passage in the Village of Hickory Ridge and replace it with a new culvert and new pathway over the culvert. Additionally, the project will stabilize the heavily eroding storm drain channel in this area. The informal meeting included an overview of the design followed by an open discussion. County staff and the project’s design consultant were on hand to answer any questions and gather public comments.
Howard County’s Department of Public Works (DPW), Stormwater Management Division, held a public meeting on Tuesday, November 29, 2022, at 6:30 p.m., in the Avalon Room at the Howard County Library System’s Miller branch, located at 9421 Frederick Road in Ellicott City, to review the proposed Maple Forest Stormwater Pond Repair Project. The proposed project will include replacement of the old metal outlet structure with a new concrete outlet structure. This meeting included an overview of the project and a presentation of the proposed repair work. DPW staff, as well as representatives from the design consulting firm, were on hand to take comments and answer any questions.
This proposed project off of Stonehouse Drive in Ellicott City includes repairing an eroded slope at an existing stormwater drainage outfall and constructing additional underground stormwater drainage pipes to discharge water at a stable location along an unnamed tributary to the Patapsco River. A public meeting was held on Monday, November 21, 2022, at 7:00 p.m. in the Patapsco Room at Howard County Library System’s Miller branch, located at 9421 Frederick Road in Ellicott City, to present plans for this project.
A Community Outreach Meeting was held on Wednesday, July 20, 2022, to present plans for the construction of a flood mitigation facility (Pond H-4), that is part of the County’s Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan. Howard County Department of Public Works, Bureau of Environmental Services’ Stormwater Management Division, plans to construct the pond on County property located at 8960-9000 Frederick Road in Ellicott City. The objective of the new pond is to help mitigate flooding in Historic Ellicott City by capturing stormwater runoff from the upper parts of the Hudson Branch Watershed and then detaining the stormwater for longer periods to reduce the peak discharge for extreme rainfall events. Construction is expected to begin by August 2023.
A virtual Community Outreach Meeting was held on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, to discuss the Scottswood Court Pond Repair Project. The pond’s infrastructure is deteriorating and DPW’s Stormwater Management Division plans to replace the existing principal spillway and riser with a concrete principal spillway pipe and riser structure to repair the facility. Riprap will also be placed at the outfall to reduce erosive velocities.
A Community Outreach Meeting was held on Wednesday, October 13, 2021, at the Miller Branch Library to discuss the Ashbrook Drive Stream Rehabilitation Project. The project will restore and stabilize approximately 700 linear feet of an existing stream bed owned by the County’s Department of Recreation & Parks and located behind the properties from 2713 Thornbrook Road to 2665 Thornbrook Road. The stream is a perennial headwater stream that drains into an unnamed tributary to the Patapsco River. Construction is expected to be complete in Spring 2023.
A Community Outreach Meeting was held in May 2019 to discuss the Cherrytree Farms 1/2 Pond Retrofit Project. The purpose of this project is to retrofit an existing stormwater management facility adjacent to 8411 Sand Cherry Lane, Laurel, and restore and stabilize a 300-linear foot section of stream that serves as the outfall channel to the pond. The pond will be retrofitted for safety and maintenance upgrades, and will also increase pollutant load reduction. The primary goal of the stream stabilization is to reduce erosion along the channel bed and banks, while creating ecological uplift and nutrient processing.
A Community Outreach Meeting was held on Thursday, September 26, 2019, at the Miller Branch Library to discuss the various ongoing drainage improvement projects in the Valley Mede/Chatham neighborhood north of RT 40.
A Community Outreach Meeting was held on December 20, 2018, to discuss the Quaker Mill Flood Attenuation Project. The purpose of this project is to remove the existing pond along Rogers Avenue in Ellicott City and construct a larger flood attenuation facility. This project is part of the Ellicott City Safe and Sound plan for flood mitigation for Historic Ellicott City.
A Community Outreach Meeting was held on April 4, 2022, to discuss the Manors of Oakwood/Brampton Ponds and Autumn Harvest Stream Projects. The purpose of these projects is to retrofit one pond, remove an existing pond, and restore a stream.
A Community Outreach Meeting was held on April 15, 2021, to discuss the Michaels Way Drainage Improvement Project. The purpose of this project is to replace and upgrade the storm drain infrastructure along Michaels Way between Fawnwood Drive and Plumtree Branch, in the vicinity of Longview Drive, to improve stormwater conveyance and road safety during rain events. Construction began October 2022 and is expected to be complete by Spring 2023.
A Community Outreach Meeting was held on April 8, 2021, to discuss the Bonnie Branch Road Stream Restoration Project - Phase 2. The purpose of the project is to improve a stream in Howard County open space located west of Bonnie Branch Road and south of College Avenue by stabilizing approximately 675 linear feet of actively eroding stream banks along Bonnie Branch Road using bank grading and rock structures. Construction is expected to be completed by Spring 2023.
A Community Outreach Meeting was held on November 7, 2019, to discuss the Wharff Lane Gully Stabilization Project. The purpose of the project is to stabilize a severely eroded storm drain outfall channel along Wharff Lane. Construction began Fall 2022 and is expected to be completed in Spring 2023.
A Howard County construction project to repair and improve a stormwater management pond adjacent to 8825 Cardinal Forest Circle in Laurel began in November 2022. The pond repair includes the replacement of the existing metal principal spillway pipes with a new concrete riser and 42-inch concrete barrel pipe. Weather permitting, the project is expected to be completed by late February 2023.
The Woodmark Stormwater Management Pond is a significant hazard dam along Carroll Mill Road in Howard County. This project will bring the pond embankment, control structure (riser), and outfall to current Maryland Department of the Environment Dam Safety requirements. This project also includes stabilizing and relocating an existing stream that meanders near the toe of the pond embankment. Construction currently planned for Mid-Late Summer 2023. An HOA Community Update Meeting was held on Tuesday, January 24, 2023.
Community Outreach Opportunities
Howard County encourages residents to care for their property in an environmentally friendly way. We encourage proper lawn fertilization and herbicide / pesticide application techniques, use of native plants for landscaping and replacement of lawn areas, and maintenance of stream buffers.
Enviroscape and Homescape are two educational tools used by the Howard County Stormwater Management staff to provide environmental education for adults. These tools are used to provide a bird's eye view of the impact that adult homeowner activities have on the environment.
If you are a community group, individual, or teaching institution that would like to start a water quality improvement project, or if you would like a speaker to talk on these topics at your next community meeting, please contact the Stormwater Management Division.
Every year the Stormwater Management Division offers a Watershed Enhancement Grant to local non-profit 501(c)(3)organizations. The purpose of the grant is to encourage change in citizen and community behavior as they affect water quality in the Howard County's lakes, rivers and streams.
This grant is intended to:
- increase citizen awareness and participation in water quality issues and projects
- provide education opportunities for Howard County residents and/or
- implement restoration projects
The Watershed Enhancement Grant is administered through the Chesapeake Bay Trust in partnership with Howard County.
Doo Your Duty
Protect Howard County parks, trails, AND waterways. Dog waste can contain multiple harmful pathogens and 1 gram can contain up to 23 million fecal bacteria. According to the EPA, pet waste is as toxic to the environment as an oil spill.
Did you know? Howard County Law states owners are responsible for immediately removing pet defecation when off their own property. Violators may be issued civil citation penalties of $25-$500. Learn more and sign the pledge to doo your duty!
Landscaping with Rain Barrels and Rain Gardens
Rain barrels are a great tool to reduce stormwater pollution and conserve treated tap water. The Bureau of Environmental Services and the Howard County Master Gardeners have partnered together to provide free rain barrel workshops and giveaways to Howard County residents.
Gardening with storm water in mind will reduce rain runoff and keep pollutants from entering our streams and the Chesapeake Bay. Watch the video below to learn how you can use storm water in rain gardens, rain barrels and other environmental projects. As a Howard County resident, you can make a big impact on stormwater pollution by increasing the amount of pervious surface that absorbs stormwater runoff on your property.
Leaves & Grass Clippings
Do not dump leaves, grass clippings or other landscaping waste into a storm drain inlet or a stream.
This is bad for water quality and is considered an illicit discharge and a violation of County Code. Discarding landscape waste into a storm drain inlet can clog pipes and lead to flooding (even in your own yard). The decaying process of yard trim can also lead to depleted oxygen levels in our stream and water bodies.
Howard County’s Annual GreenFest in April features many commercial and non-profit vendors with information about how to live a more ecologically sound lifestyle. Vendors and exhibitors bring information about green products, ecological home cleaning and lawn care, alternative energy, water conservation and reuse, and tips for greening your everyday activities.