Stormwater management in Nags Head is a complex balancing act between several competing factors such as economic development, natural resource perseveration, flood control, and water quality. Development and redevelopment create a feedback loop with respect to stormwater runoff. As development occurs, stormwater runoff increases from the addition of hard surfaces, reducing the ability to infiltrate into the ground. Vegetation removal and the importation of fill material to support development can decrease evapotranspiration and eliminate natural drainage features and areas of infiltration. More stormwater runoff enters the system, thus continuing the cycle.
Frequent flooding can curtail investment and tourism in a town where tourism is a critical part of the economy. The desire to limit flooding must be tempered by the need to limit pollution from entering the adjoining surface waters of the Roanoke Sound and Atlantic Ocean. Degraded or polluted waterways can lead to beach and shellfishing closures, which also has an impact on tourism and the economy.
The Town of Nags Head believes that good environmental stewardship includes providing a safe and healthy place for residents and visitors to live, work, and play. The Town also believes that this can be done in an environmentally sensitive manner. Working together we can manage stormwater more effectively to protect our local water resources and our community.
Nags Head's Stormwater Management Program works to improve the collection, treatment, and transportation of stormwater runoff through publicly owned infrastructure while enhancing pollutant removal prior to discharging to receiving waters. Program responsibilities include maintaining and repairing existing facilities, constructing new facilities, educating the public, and developing plans.
Learn more about the current stormwater services provided by the Town.
Nags Head previously collected a stormwater utility fee through the water bills of all Town water customers. In 2016, the utility fee was converted to a one cent ad valorem tax. The ad valorem tax was increased in 2018 to two cents, which equates to approximately $470,000 annually.
These funds are reserved for stormwater management purposes only and used to support activities to mitigate localized flooding and enhance water quality within the town.
Learn more about stormwater management funding and related expenditures.
Flooding typically occurs in our area when large amounts of rain falls over a short period of time from a single, heavy storm, tropical system, or hurricane. After these storms, we rely on a man-made flood control system to drain excess water from the low, flat lands. Existing surface waters levels (i.e. ocean or sound), impact the ability of the connecting drainage systems to receive or store new rainfall.Link to page
Planning for stormwater management is divided into several different approaches: Strormwater Master Planning, Capital Improvement Plan and policy development. Learn about Nags Head’s current planning efforts.Link to page
Private Property Guidance
Committed to helping our customers address stormwater concerns, Town staff are available to provide technical guidance, such as suggesting strategies that a homeowner may implement to mitigate drainage issues.Link to page
Public Infrastructure and Maintenance
Maintaining Nags Head's drainage system is a big job. Learn about what it takes to operate, maintain, and repair our public drainage infrastructure.Link to page
Nags Head's Stormwater Committee develops and implements good environmental stewardship through the Town's Stormwater Management Program. Committee members serve as ambassadors and assist in creating a vision for the future of a sustainable and cooperative stormwater management framework.Link to page
Stormwater Frequently Asked Questions
How does the Town drainage system function? Find an answer to this question and more.Link to page
Stormwater Management Funding
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Stormwater Management Ordinance
Learn more about Nags Head's stormwater management ordinance.Link to page
Recommended Standard Details Manual -StormwaterLink to page
The Town of Nags Head provides comprehensive stormwater services. Learn more about what services are provided.Link to page
The most common types of flooding in Nags Head occur from coastal flooding, surface water flooding and groundwater flooding. Learn about the different flood source types and how you can protect your property.Link to page