Winter Update 2017
Stormwater is the number one pollutant threat to our coastal waters. As rain runoff makes its way to a drain, it picks up bacteria and other pollutants it comes in contact with. Stormwater runoff is not treated by wastewater facilities, but rather, it drains freely into our waterways. Often, this stormwater runoff can create dangerous bacteria levels that could lead to swimming advisories and shellfish harvest closures. This December, with the help of the North Carolina Coastal Federation, we rebuilt our stormwater infrastructure to combat stormwater pollution. The innovative infiltration system captures and stores runoff into an underground pipe system. Tiny perforations in the pipes allow the stormwater, and all its pollutants, to seep through into the ground allowing the soils to naturally filter the water. This process results in 90% less pollutants released into Banks Channel creating healthier waterways for our guests to enjoy.
In addition to the infiltration system, we have also connected a 2,100 gallon cistern that aims to collect not only stormwater, but condensate from our HVAC systems. Come spring, we will be irrigating our soundside gardens with reused water lessening our public utility water usage by 20%.
Our commitment to the health of our local waterways doesn’t stop at our property line. This past year, our Green Team has volunteered with the NC Coastal Federation to build oyster reefs along our coastline. These reefs use bagged, recycled oyster shells to build structures that provided habit for hundreds of marine creatures including the mighty oyster. A single oyster can help filter fifty gallons of water, and a whole reef can reduce wave impact and prevent shoreline erosion. Building these oyster reefs not only help to keep our waters healthy, they also help to strengthen North Carolina’s economy by creating more oysters to support our fisheries.
The health of our coastal waters is important. They are our playground, our grocery store, our economy. We are blessed to call Wrightsville Beach home, and we are committed to protecting our coastal waters for generations to come.