The Daviess County Soil & Water Conservation District was formed in 1941 to provide information about soil, water and related natural resource conservation; identify and prioritize local soil and water resource concerns; and connect land users to sources of educational, technical and financial assistance to implement conservation practices and technologies.

 Office InformationOur office 250 x 188

Location: 2526 East National Highway, Washington IN 47501

 Phone: 812-254-4780,ext.3  Email:

 Hours: Monday - Friday, 8:00 AM - 4:00 PM. Closed weekends and holidays 


Our Mission:

To provide educational, technical and financial assistance to all Daviess County residents in order to maintain a clean and wholesome environment in which to work and live.

By visiting and using the Daviess County Soil & Water Conservation District website, you are subject to, and understand the terms of our Privacy Policy.

What Is Stormwater?

 Stormwater runoff is the rain or melting snow that flows over streets, parking lots, rooftops, lawns, farmland and other land surfaces. Controlling stormwater runoff and pollution is a serious issue facing many communities across Indiana and the nation. Stormwater runoff is not clean water. As it flows across various land surfaces, stormwater picks up and carries pollutants such as soil, litter, yard wastes, pesticides, fertilizers, bacteria, oil, grease, road salts and toxic chemicals from leaks and spills. These pollutants are washed off a wide area and cannot be traced back to a single point, so stormwater runoff is known as nonpoint source pollution. Since more than half of all water pollution in the U.S. comes from nonpoint sources, uncontrolled stormwater runoff can have a huge impact on the quality of our water.

Where Does It All Go?

As stormwater flows into storm drains on parking lots and streets, it enters a system of underground pipes called storm sewers. The city of Washington has two different types of stormwater collection systems: combined sewers (sewage and stormwater) and municipal separate storm sewer systems (stormwater only), known as MS4’s. Combined sewers lead to the city’s wastewater treatment plant, where water from this system is treated and filtered before being released into the White River. During a heavy rain, however, the capacity of the treatment plant can be overwhelmed, causing untreated sewage and stormwater to overflow into the White River. The MS4’s around Washington do not lead to the wastewater treatment plant. Polluted runoff transported by these systems is discharged directly into the environment without any treatment or filtration at all. Washington's MS4’s empty into Hawkins Creek and the Hurricane Branch of Veale Creek, eventually flowing into the White River.

What Is The Impact Of Stormwater Runoff?

  Polluted runoff flowing into our streams and rivers can be a serious problem, causing degradation of habitat for aquatic plants, animals and fish, increased sedimentation, increased levels of bacteria and pathogens, and contamination of the water by a variety of potentially toxic chemicals. When streams and rivers become polluted, then human health can also be affected.

   In addition to the impacts on the environment and human health, the land itself can be affected by stormwater runoff. When communities grow and urban areas expand, more paved surfaces are created. This can lead to an increase in the amount and speed of water flowing off the land and into receiving waters. This in turn can cause larger and more frequent floods, erosion of stream banks, and property damage.

How Can We Help?  

Many of our everyday activities around the home have the potential to contribute to stormwater pollution. Improper use and storage of harsh household chemicals, careless trash disposal, home improvement projects, excessive use of fertilizers and pesticides, and do-it-yourself auto care and maintenance are just a few of the ways people can add to the pollution flowing into our local waterways. These many individual sources of pollution can add up to cause big water quality problems!

   Stormwater pollution can be prevented, but it takes the involvement and the actions of the whole community. Each citizen bears the responsibility to reduce the amount of pollutants he or she releases into the environment. See the booklet Stormwater Solutions for actions you can take to reduce stormwater runoff and pollution. For additional information on how you can be a part of the solution to stormwater pollution, contact the Washington Wastewater/Stormwater Department, 812-254-2792.


What is a Rain Garden? 

A rain garden is a shalrg storage l 264 x 198low, saucer-shaped garden featuring native perennial plants and grasses. It is designed to absorb stormwater run-off from impervious surfaces such as roof tops, driveways and sidewalks. Rain gardens slow down the rush of water from these hard surfaces, allowing it to naturally soak into the ground.  For every inch of rain that falls on a surface area of 1,000 square feet, approximately 600 gallons of rainwater is generated! Homeowners can help reduce the amount of run-off water flowing from their property by planting a rain garden.

Benefits of Planting a Rain Garden 

  • Natural filtration of stormwater run-off, protecting our local waterways from pollutants
  • Slowly infiltrating water helps replenish groundwater supplies
  • Can help solve flooding/drainage problems in your yard
  • Reduces the amount of lawn you need to water, mow and maintain
  • Add beauty and 'curb appeal' to your property
  • Create habitat for birds and butterflies

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Eastside Park Rain Garden

After much planning, a rain garden has been planted at Eastside Park, by the parking lot behind the Community Building. Fall of 2018 marks the third year for the garden, and the plants are growing well. Some adjustments have been made to the back berm, and more plants have been added. Click here for the complete plant list. Below are photos of the rain garden from the start to the present day.


What is Rule 5?

Indiana law requires erosion control practices to be implemented on most construction projects in the state. 327 IAC 15-5 (known as ‘Rule 5’) is a performance-based regulation designed to reduce pollutants associated with construction and/or land disturbing activities. The requirements of Rule 5 now apply to all persons who are involved in construction activity (including clearing, grading, excavation and other land disturbing activities) that results in the disturbance of one (1) acre or more of total land area. The purpose of this rule is to establish requirements for stormwater discharges from construction activities so that public health, existing water uses, and aquatic life are protected.

An erosion and sediment control plan must be developed and submitted for review a minimum of 30 days prior to any land disturbing activity. Refer to Filing Requirements for Rule 5 for details. For construction activity that takes place outside the city limits of Washington, plans must be submitted to:    

 Daviess County SWCD

2526 East National Hwy.

Washington IN 47501

For construction activity that takes place within the city limits of Washington, contact the Washington Wastewater/Stormwater Department, 812-254-2792 to submit your plan.

For more information, please read the following documents, or visit the IDEM's Storm Water Permitting page.

Rule 5 Compliance Requirements

Required Elements of a Rule 5 Plan

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Each year in the fall, the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (IDNR) Nursery Program holds its tree seedling sale. The mission of the Nursery Program is to grow and distribute high quality plants to landowners for the purpose of conservation plantings. Conservation plantings include plantings for timber, wildlife, windbreaks, soil and water protection, reclamation, carbon sequestration, and education. 

By purchasing seedlings, you agree to plant them for conservation plantings as stated in the Nursery Program mission. Plants may not be redistributed or resold for profit. 

Orders submitted are entered into a computerized random drawing. Orders received by the deadline date have the best chance of being filled. Orders received after the deadline are still accepted, but will be filled on a first-come, first-served basis while supplies last. Seedlings will begin shipping in early spring.

Please follow this link for more information: Instructions for Ordering Tree Seedlings

Questions? Contact the District 11 Forester,

                               Travis Dunn

                            6583 E State Road 264

                              Ferdinand, IN 47532

             Phone: 812-827-2857  

             Email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Upcoming Events

Rain Barrel Sale 

The Daviess County SWCD and the City of Washington's Stormwater Department are offering 50-gallon rain barrels for sale. Barrels are $45.00 + IN sales tax for Daviess County residents, the price for residents of other counties is $65.00 + IN sales tax.  Contact the SWCD if you are interested in purchasing a rain barrel, or print out the order form and mail it with your payment.

Rain Barrel order form

Client Gateway

Farmers, ranchers and private forest landowners can now do business with USDA's Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) through an online portal. With the launch of the Conservation Client Gateway, producers will have the ability to work with conservation planners online to access Farm Bill programs, request assistance, and track payments for their conservation activities. The Conservation Client Gateway is secure and is entirely voluntary, giving producers a choice between conducting business online or traveling to the USDA Service Center. To learn more, visit:

Everything You've Always Wanted to Know About Natural Resources...

...But didn't know who to ask! Whether you have owned your land for a lifetime, or are a new Indiana landowner, you may have questions when it comes to land use and conservation. This is a quick guide for who to call and where to look when you have questions about natural resources and conservation on your land in Indiana.

Indiana Conservation Answer Guide



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