Practices, Tips, and Information

Only Rain in the Drain - Report Illegal Non-stormwater Discharges

Drainage Maintenance

Development projects are designed with specific drainage patterns. Homeowners should maintain and not interfere with any planned drainage patterns. Many stormwater systems are privately owned, including all stormwater ponds. HOAs should periodically inspect their stormwater drainage systems, including ponds, pipes, swales, and ditches. Routine inspections can reveal maintenance needs or minor problems before they become major headaches.

For Horry County's guidebook on maintaining stormwater systems, click here. For US EPA guidance on maintaining stormwater systems, click here. For a slideshow and podcast of a training workshop designed for HOAs, click here. For a sample self-inspection checklist for HOAs, click here.

Horry County will periodically inspect neighborhood drainage systems and provide reports to the HOA or property owner. For more information about these post-construction BMP inspections, click here.

HOAs should prepare for anticipated storms by inspecting their stormwater drainage systems before any storm danger is near. To ensure your safety, do not conduct inspections during a storm. For a sample checklist for pre-storm inspections, click here.

Drainage disputes between neighboring property owners are not uncommon. For a short write-up about drainage disputes in Horry County, click here.
Easements and Encroachments
Drainage easements are put in place to maintain drainage infrastructure, some of which may be underground. Drainage easements may be public or private and afford the easement holder the right to access the property for only what is expressly enumerate in the easement. Drainage easements typically dictate thing like the repair or maintain drainage infrastructure. The landowner maintains ownership of the property.  The size of an easement is determined by the type of infrastructure within the easement and the type of equipment or materials that may be needed to fix a problem. For more information about drainage easements, click here. Encroachments into an easement may interfere with easement access and must be specifically permitted by the easement holder. If a resident would like to do some work in an easement assigned to the county or a "public easement" for example, they would have to submit an encroachment permit to the county. This permit includes things such as location of the site (w/ map), type of material or structure to be put in the easement (w/ map), property owner, contact information, and description of the work to be performed. The encroachment must be signed by the owner of the property. NO second party signatures will be accepted.  Click here for an Horry County encroachment permit form that may be used as a template. It is encouraged for the HOA to use a similar form and the residents use this form to provide you the most accurate information about their project as possible so you may make the best decisions for your community.
Nuisance Wildlife
Nuisance Wildlife Removal - SC DNR
Beaver Management and Control - SC DNR
Beaver Control for Landowners - SC DNR
Canada Goose Information and Control Permit - SC DNR
Island Applesnail - Flyer Alert

Educational Resources
Guidebook for Maintaining Stormwater Systems - Horry County
Homeowner Leadership Resources - Community Associations Institute
Community Association Webinars - Community Associations Institute
Stormwater Education in Northeastern South Carolina- Coastal Waccamaw Stormwater Education Consortium
Carolina Yards Program - Clemson Extension
Carolina Rain Garden Initiative - Clemson Extension
Stormwater Pond Management - Clemson Extension
Master Pond Manager Course - Clemson Extension
Home and Garden Information Center - Clemson Extension
Useful Documents for HOAs
Legal Aspects of Drainage
Stormwater System Maintenance - US EPA
Ordinance - Exterior property maintenance requirements
Ordinance - Obstruction of drainage structures and rights of way
Other Horry County Ordinances
South Carolina Homeowners Association Act
Hurricane Preparedness for Stormwater Systems
Pond Management Resources
Environmental Monitoring

Do's and Don'ts

  • Do keep ditches and swales clear of debris, yard waste, and trash
  • Do keep storm drains free of leaves and other blockages
  • Don't install sheds, fences, landscaping, or other structures in drainage easements, drainage swales or ditches, or around storm drains
  • Don't regrade yards in a way that blocks drainage swales or ditches
  • Don't place wire or other barriers over the ends of pipes as this may cause a debris trap
  • Don't dispose of paint, oil, grease, chemicals or other wastes in storm drains - it is not treated before it drains to streams, rivers or the ocean
  • Don't connect septic tanks, washing machines, or other plumbing to the drainage system, including ditches
  • Do report any drainage problem or illegal discharge to the Horry County Road and Drainage Hotline at 843-381-8000.