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Richland County wants public input on surface water quality

Stormwater Management Division asks citizens to join focus groups on local water resources and what can be done to protect quality
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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Richland County's Stormwater Management Division is asking interested residents of the county to join a focus group to give feedback as the department develops outreach programs to address surface water quality in local streams and creeks. 

It is the division's job to prevent pollution and keep any water that falls to the ground as it rains or snows -- stormwater -- clean. Stormwater eventually soaks into the ground or causes runoff on paved surfaces. Either way, stormwater is untreated, and whatever pollution carried in to storm drains during runoff or absorbed in the ground will find its way into the nearest creeks and streams.

“Creeks and streams lead to our local rivers, and as members of the community we are connected to those waterways,” said Chenille Williams, education program coordinator for Stormwater Management. “Through focus groups, we hope to receive feedback on what citizens care about regarding local water resources while doing what we can to protect surface water quality.”  

Williams said the feedback will be used as a guide "for reaching new audiences with activities and programs relevant to the citizens of Richland County."

Richland County residents can sign up for the focus groups on the division’s website, accessible by visiting richlandcountysc.gov and navigating to the Stormwater Management page. 

The County plans to host multiple focus groups of eight to 12 people each. The groups will meet virtually for 60 to 90 minutes, and more groups could be added based on interest. 

Participants should sign up by Aug. 14 and have access to a computer, laptop or smartphone with Wi-Fi capability. Those who sign up will be contacted to participate in a focus group or receive a survey.  

Meetings will be scheduled based on group availability. 

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