Durham County Creek Smart® Resources

Cistern and Rain Garden Maintenance Guides

ECWA has created maintenance guides for cisterns and rain gardens to help you get the most out of the Creek Smart® additions to your property.
View or download the
Cistern Maintenance Guide
View or download the
Rain Garden Maintenance Guide.

Durham Stormwater and GIS Services

Durham Stormwater and GIS is a division of City of Durham Public Works charged with managing the local stormwater network and meeting federal & state water quality standards. The City of Durham often provides grants and contracts to support non-profits and private companies in the installation of Creek Smart Practices.

NC Cooperative Extension – Durham County Center

NC Cooperative Extension partners with communities to deliver education and technology that enrich the lives, land, and economy of North Carolinians.

Statewide, NC Cooperative Extension provides specialists in many areas, including agents who focus on Watersheds and Water Quality. The local Durham County agent is Cheralyn Schmidt.

Durham County Soil and Water Conservation District

The Durham County Soil and Water Conservation District administers the statewide Community Conservation Assistance Program (CCAP) in Durham County. Your local agent is Mike Dupree.

CCAP is a voluntary incentive-based program designed to improve water quality through the installation of best management practices (including Creek Smart practices). The CCAP practices funded include backyard rain gardens, backyard wetlands, bioretention, cisterns, grass swales, impervious surface conversion, permeable pavement, and stream restoration, among others. Interested homeowners may apply to the Durham County Soil and Water Conservation District for financial and technical assistance. Applications are ranked based on local water quality priorities. Landowners may receive financial assistance of up to 75% of the pre-established average cost of the practice.

North Carolina 811

North Carolina 811 is a free service for the marking of electric, water, cable, and gas utility lines. Call 811 before you dig, or visit their website at www.nc811.org.

Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association

The Ellerbe Creek Watershed Association (ECWA) is a non-profit organization with a mission to protect and restore Durham’s most urban stream and make it an asset to the community.

ECWA helps watershed residents design and install Creek Smart practices on their property with available funding. ECWA also hosts hands-on workshops to teach homeowners how to install Creek Smart practices. For more information, contact ECWA’s Creek Smart Technician, Robert Meehan.

Durham County Installers

The Durham County Soil and Water Conservation District maintains a list of qualified installers of Creek Smart Practices.

City of Durham Stormwater STAR Program

Durham Stormwater and GIS maintains the Stormwater STAR Business Recognition Program to recognize those businesses that protect water quality through good environmental housekeeping practices in Durham. Qualified businesses will receive free signage and the support of program staff, as well as access to trainings and talks.