WNC Big Sweep River Clean Up

Join the City of Hendersonville for the 32nd Annual WNC Big Sweep River Clean Up. This event, taking place on September 21, is the area’s largest single-day river, stream and roadside cleanup involving local governments and organizations from across the region. The City of Hendersonville will be focusing efforts on the Mud Creek and is seeking volunteers to paddle downstream cleaning up trash as they go.


GreenWorks Trash Trout


Trash Trout Installation on Mud Creek at Berkeley Rd Crossing

Aquatic trash has become a pervasive problem in freshwater environments, presenting a challenge to water quality and habitat protection, in addition to causing aesthetic blight, ecological effects, economic impacts, and possible public health risks.

Mud Creek has been listed as impaired on North Carolinas 303(d) list since 2006 and is the largest conveyor of water borne trash to the French Broad River in Henderson County. After a heavy rain, the creek can explode in volume as it sheds over 200 square miles of urban and rural areas. To address the trash in higher flowing creeks, Asheville GreenWorks developed a device capable of withstanding greater volumes of water, while not impairing the local ecology.
City stormwater staff, in partnership with non-profit organizations Asheville GreenWorks and Mountain True have installed a trash collection device on Mud Creek in an effort to reduce floating trash in Mud Creek. This project will offer opportunities for public education and outreach as well as generate public involvement in water quality and stormwater management.

The device, named the "Trash Trout" was designed and built by the Asheville GreenWorks organization. Its purpose is to sit in a flowing waterway and collect floatables as they move downstream with the current. This device aids in reducing the amount of trash in our waterways and improving overall water quality for our community. Asheville GreenWorks, The City of Hendersonville Stormwater DepartmentMountain True and various community groups are partnering to maintain the device located at Balfour Bridge on Mud Creek.

Help us keep the Trash Trout in the water. Asheville GreenWorks is seeking volunteers to maintain this device. Contact Eric Bradford / 828-232-7144 or Michael Huffman / 828-458-5693, mhuffman@hvlnc.gov if you're interested in helping out with the Trash Trout device.

Related Articles:

'Trash Trout' device stops trash from getting into the French Broad

‘Trash Trout’ installed on Mud Creek

Greenworks' new 'Trash Trout' device works to clean Hendersonville waterway


Rain Barrel Program

Photo of Ivy Rain Barrel in Residential Use

Under the direction of the NPDES Phase II MS4 Permit issued to the City of Hendersonville by the State of North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality, the City is required to satisfy six minimum control measures as part of its comprehensive stormwater management program. The goal of two of these measures, Public Education and Outreach and Public Participation/Involvement, are to foster an active, involved, informed, and knowledgeable community, which is crucial to a successful stormwater management program. Rain Barrel programs provide a cost effective opportunity to offer public education and outreach as well as generate public involvement.

The purpose of the Rain Barrel Program is to generate public involvement in the stormwater program by providing rain barrels at a discounted price to the citizens of Hendersonville. Rain Barrels offer a number of benefits to the community and residents including reducing stormwater runoff pollution from residential lots, allowing residents to store and use rainwater for irrigation and gardening during times of drought, lowering water bills, and reducing the demand on municipal water treatment and supply. Rain Water Solutions, a North Carolina based company, offers a community partnership program that provides high-quality rain barrels to participating municipalities and a discounted price to residents.

During the first year of the program over 300 Barrels were sold, equivalent to 15,000 gallons of rainwater being conserved. The City of Hendersonville’s Stormwater staff and ESB plan to continue the rain barrel program as an annual event during Garden Jubilee. Participants in the program will be able to order barrels directly from Rain Water Solutions and pick up their pre-ordered barrels during Garden Jubilee.

This program is coordinated by Michael S. Huffman, the Stormwater Quality Specialist for the City of Hendersonville. If you have any questions or would like more information regarding the Rain Barrel program please contact him by phone: 828-697-3013 or email: mhuffman@hvlnc.gov

Related Articles:

City offers rain barrel program to residents


Storm Drain Stenciling Program

Image of Stencil Containing Outline of Frog and Text: "Dump No Waste: Drains To Stream"


Storm drain stenciling provides a cost effective option for both public education and outreach as well as public involvement, and therefore The City of Hendersonville is organizing a storm drain stenciling program. The purpose of storm drain stenciling is to help educate the public about pollution prevention and generate public participation in the stormwater program. Stencils are placed on or near storm drains to remind us that rainfall runoff can wash soil, yard waste, fertilizer, motor oil, and other pollutants into our waterways. Stenciling will be by a combination of City of Hendersonville employees and volunteers.

Storm drain marking is labeling a storm drain inlet with a written message reminding the public not to dump anything into the storm drain as it flows to local waterways.  Many people mistakenly believe storm drains empty to water treatment facilities, so they pour chemicals or sweep debris directly into storm drains. This dumping greatly increases the level of non-point source pollutants (leaves, soil, litter, fertilizers, pesticides, and street residues) already present in urban storm water runoff and can contribute substantially to a decline in water quality. More communities are working to reduce non-point source pollution by labeling storm drain inlets with messages warning citizens not to dump polluting materials.  The stenciled messages—usually a simple phrase like “No Dumping! Protect Our Water”—remind would-be dumpers and passers-by that the storm drains connect to local water bodies and that dumping pollutes those waters. In recent years, as states and local governments have learned more about how non-point source pollution degrades water quality, storm drain marking efforts have sprung up in communities across the country.

This program is coordinated by Michael S. Huffman, the Stormwater Quality Specialist for the City of Hendersonville. If you have questions or would like to participate in the storm drain stenciling program please contact him by phone: 828-697-3013 or email: mhuffman@hvlnc.gov

Rain Water Harvesting at Ironwood Square

Photo of Cassie Ashworth in front of cistern prior to the cistern being installed at ironwood square


It all started with a bike ride. Torry and Michael ride their bikes together on a weekly basis and as is often the case they talk about their families, what they did on the weekend, and their jobs. Torry Nergart is the Conservation Easement Manager for Carolina Mountain Land Conservancy (CMLC) and Michael Huffman works for the City of Hendersonville as Stormwater Quality Specialist. Michael told Torry he thought Ironwood Square, where The Free Clinics (TFC) is located, would be a great place to demonstrate water conservation, and that he could offer a grant to help finance the project. Furthermore, North Carolina State (NCS) through the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences and the NC Cooperative Extension would design and install the entire system, including a cistern, drain pipes, and an electric pump. After walking the property in April they determined that of the three tenants at Ironwood Square, TFC, CMLC, and Children & Family Resource Center, TFC's site and our Community Garden made for a perfect fit.

Thus was born the Ironwood Square Rain Water Harvesting System. NC States's Mitch Woodward is the project manager, and TFC's Cassie Ashworth (shown above) has coordinated TFC's engagement and our responsibilities. The system is being installed.

The 5,000 gallon tank, which measures 102" in diameter and 152" high, will capture approximately 3.5 inches of rainfall, which is nearly a month of average rainfall for our area. The rainwater will be funneled from gutters located along two sides of the TFC building into the cistern. An electric pump will be installed in the middle of our garden to send the water from the cistern to irrigate the beds. The project costs are estimated at $6,872, which is covered by a grant from the City of Hendersonville.

"We feel fortunate that the City of Hendersonville and NC State selected TFC for this project," said Cassie.  "This collaboration is a great way to demonstrate water conservation and the value of community partnerships, and will enable us to expand the garden next year which will have a positive impact on our patients." 

Once installed and operational the water harvesting system will enable TFC's Community Garden to continue to expand. Last year we started with three raised beds, which this year grew to ten raised beds and an in-ground plot. Thankfully, patient volunteers assumed greater responsibility for planting, weeding and harvesting. With an adequate water source, our garden can continue to grow, providing increased access to fresh produce for our patients.You never know where great ideas may be born. As Cassie remarked, "This awesome collaborative project all came about thanks to a bike ride!"

Bruce Drysdale Rain Garden

Photo of Bruce Drysdale Elementary rain garden design and construction team and partners standing in front of newly installed rain garden

The City of Hendersonville Stormwater Division is excited to announce the installation of new stormwater rain garden at Bruce Drysdale Elementary in Hendersonville. This rain garden highlights the amazing work that can be accomplished when various community organizations collaborate and work together on a project. The installation of this rain garden will aid in managing stormwater runoff from Bruce Drysdale Elementary, this innovative but simple method of stormwater management reduces pollution and flooding downstream by holding rain water onsite and allowing it to slowly infiltrate back into the ground.

Besides the benefit to the local water quality, rain gardens are excellent education projects because they serve as living classrooms, creating education opportunities focused on the water cycle, soil, plants, pollinators, and stormwater. Throughout the school year teachers and students can use the rain gardens for lessons and activities, and they will work with community volunteers to care for the rain garden. Additionally, this rain garden will serve as a demonstration project for others who are interested in a more environmentally friendly way to manage stormwater runoff on their property.

This project was the focus of a workshop hosted in partnership with the Girls Scouts of America, NC State and the NC Cooperative Extension Office, Hendersonville Tree Board, Hendersonville Water and Sewer Department, and Henderson County Public School. Attendees of the workshop were educated on how to locate, design, and install a rain garden. Over 20 people participated in the event and helped to install the rain garden at Bruce Drysdale. The City of Hendersonville Stormwater Division would like to thank everyone involved who made this project a huge success!

The Stormwater Division has a goal to install at least one new rain garden a year moving forward. If you are interested in having a rain garden or would like more information about this innovative stormwater practice please contact Micheal Huffman at mhuffman@hvlnc.gov or by phone at 828-697-3013