Maps, history, demographics, municipalities, and more about Aiken County Find the service or function that you need in our list of services listed alphabetically and by category, and a list of current electronic services. Recreation, roads, taxes, & much more for our residents. Job openings, bid opportunities for vendors, and economic development. Tourism info, including museums, accommodations, calendar of events, and much more. County Departments and Agencies, and links to other local and state government resources. How to contact County officials by phone, mail, email, or visit.
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FAQs: All
     
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Where can I find out my official E911 street address?
  Visit the E-911 Addressing Office (803.642.2054) in the Planning & Development Department. You will have to show them on a map where your house is located, and where your driveway comes off the road.
 
Who can file an appeal against the valuation of real property?
  The property owner has the right to appeal the new value assigned to their property if, after receiving their assessment notice, they disagree with the new value.
 
When can you file an appeal against the valuation of real property?
  An appeal must be filed in writing within 30 days of receiving the assessment notice. You must file your appeal with the County Assessor. Don't wait until your tax bill arrives to appeal your new value; it's too late then.
 
Where would I find the information on bids and RFPs?
  Click on the following link for information on current and recent bids, RFPs, and awards.

Procurement Solicitations
 
Where are Birth Certificates obtained?
  Birth certificate information can be found here.
 
How do I get a building permit?
  For building permits located anywhere in the County except in the cities of Aiken and North Augusta, apply at the Planning & Development Department (803.642.1518). You will need to bring two sets of construction plans, and know your tax parcel number. If you will not be using public sewer, a septic tank permit from DHEC is required. A building permit is required for any construction valued at $1,000 or more. A General Contractor's License is required for anyone constructing a non-residential building valued more than $5,000.

For building inside the cities of Aiken or North Augusta, please contact their building permit offices.
 
Must I notify someone before burning leaves or limbs in my yard?
  According to the SC Forestry Commission website, State law requires that you notify the Forestry Commission prior to burning outdoors. In most cases, the law applies to burning leaves, limbs and branches that you clean up from your yard. The notification law does not apply within town or city limits, but other local ordinances may apply within those areas; be sure to check with those local officials before burning. In Aiken County, dial toll-free 800.895.7057 for a quick, easy way to make your yard debris burning notification. Just dial the number, listen to the message, and leave your name, address and phone number. The law requires that you clear a firebreak around the burning site and have the right equipment available to keep the fire under control. You must also stay with the fire until it is completely safe. Please visit the Forestry Commission's website for more information on outdoor burning: www.state.sc.us/forest/fireburn.htm.
 
Does Aiken County require a business license?
  Aiken County does not require a business license in the unincorporated area of the county. However, if you are going to be conducting business in any of the cities, you need to check with them for business licenses. Also check with the Planning & Development Department (803.642.1520) to see if the area where your business will be located is zoned to allow a commercial establishment.
 
How do I stop telemarketers from calling my home?
  The Federal government has established the national Do Not Call Registry, which is intended to stop most but not all telemarketing calls. Please visit their site at www.DoNotCall.gov to register your home and cell phone numbers.
 
Who may adopt a child? (and other adoption questions)
  In South Carolina, the SC Department of Social Services supervises adoptions. You can find out more about adoptions here.

You can find information on the Aiken County DSS and its local office here.
 
How do I make someone pay child support if they live in another state?
  You should contact SC Department of Social Services. The Clerk's office has the applications available in their office. They will assist you to enforce an order in another state through UIFSA.
 
How do I get child support?
  There are three (3) ways in which you may begin a child support action.

(1) You may file an action Pro Se. There is a filing fee and service fee to be paid upon filing. The forms are available at the Clerk of Court's office.

(2) You may contact an attorney and they will file the action for you.

(3) You may file through SC Department of Social Services. You do not have to be on any type of state assistance to participate with this program. The Clerk's office has the application available in their office. You may pick one up, complete the application and mail it along with their processing fee to their address in Columbia, SC.
 
Who do I call to find out the status of child support and/or spousal support payments?
  803.642.1715

The Clerk of Court's Office, Child Support Division. The staff in the Clerk's office does not give out payment information over the telephone. With the proper account number, the automated telephone system will provide payment information.
 
How do I get child support payments deductions from someone's income?
  If the order is filed in Aiken County, payable through Aiken County and is enforced in Aiken County, the Custodial Parent may come into the Clerk of Court's office and sign a Notice of Intent, or the Non Custodial Parent may come into the Clerk's office and sign a Voluntary Wage Withholding request. Either of these will initiate Income Withholding.
 
Where is the courthouse?
  The courthouse, or Judicial Center, is located at 109 Park Avenue in Aiken. Please click here for a map and more info on the Judicial Center.
 
Where are Death Certificates obtained?
  Death certificate information can be found here.
 
Where are deeds recorded?
  All records relating to property (deeds, mortgages, plats) are recorded in the RMC Office (803.642.2072) in Suite 2100 of the Aiken County Government Center at 1930 University Parkway in Aiken. Copies of deeds can be obtained at a minimal cost.
 
Where can Divorce Records be obtained?
  All ended (completed) Aiken County Divorce records can be found in the Clerk of Court's office, Judgment Division.
 
How do I get a divorce? Where do I go to file a divorce?
  You can get a divorce through an Attorney filing your action unless you are familiar with filing your own paperwork. Self-Represented Litigant Divorce forms are available online. Please understand that the Clerk of Court's office cannot give any legal advice. All divorces begin with filing in the Clerk's office, Family Court Division and once they are ended (decided by judge), they are filed in the Clerk's office, Judgments Division.
 
How do I know which fire district I am in?
  Fire district boundaries were established by County Council in 1988. Most areas of the County are served by volunteer fire departments. Call the GIS Mapping Division at 803.642.7592 to see which fire department protects your house.
 
What is this thing on my tax bill about a fire fee?
  Fire fees are assessed by the fire departments on all properties located within their fire district. Fire departments do not get any tax money from Aiken County to operate the fire departments and must use fire fee money for operational expenses (equipment purchases, utilities, fuel, fire fighting supplies, etc.). Under terms of contracts with the county, a fire fee is assessed in the County budget ordinance for each fire district, and is billed on the County's property tax bill. If the fire fee is not paid by the time property taxes become delinquent, many of the fire departments have instructed the County to turn the unpaid fees over to a collection agency.

Please contact your fire department for more information about their fire fees.
 
What will happen if my property is remapped from a high-risk to a low or moderate-risk area?
  When a building is remapped to a low or moderate-risk area, there is no longer a federally mandated requirement to purchase flood insurance. However, in most cases the risk has only been reduced, not removed. Flood insurance is still recommended.

  • Upon the adoption of the new maps, you may be eligible for a lower-cost Preferred-Risk Policy, or PRP. Through your insurance agent, it is a simple process to submit a PRP application and insured-signed conversion form to avoid any gaps in your flood coverage. ;
  • Direct questions about flood policy coverage and rates to 1.800.427.4661
 
What is a Flood Hazard Map? 
  Flood hazard maps, or "FIRMs," are used to determine the flood risk to your home or business. The low- and moderate-risk zones are represented on NFIP FIRM maps by the letter "X" or an "X" that is shaded. The inland high-risk zones will be labeled with designations such as "A" "AE" "AO" or "AH". Aiken County designations consist of High Risk A and AE (100-year flood plain), and Low-Moderate X shaded (500-year) or X remainder of county. To see the 1984 FIRMs visit www.FloodSmart.gov. See the 2012 FEMA FIRMs on our website.
 
How will the new flood hazard maps affect me?
  Neighborhoods across Aiken County will be affected differently by these map changes. Some properties will not be affected their risk remains the same. Other properties will be mapped into a higher-risk area and/or show a new base flood elevation. Some properties will be mapped into a lower-risk area than before. Base flood elevation (100-year flood elevation): The height of the base flood or area of land that has a 1 percent chance of flooding in a given year in feet in relation to the North American Vertical Datum of 1988.
 
How might the new flood maps affect me financially?
  If your structure is mapped into a high-risk area and you have a mortgage with a federally-regulated lender, you will need to purchase flood insurance. If your property is mapped into a low-or moderate-risk area, you are not required to purchase or maintain insurance, but are encouraged to do so. The cost of properly protecting your home and contents from flood damage is far less expensive than the cost to repair or replace it after a flood has occurred.

    • Per FEMA: Through the National Flood Insurance Program, coverage often can be obtained at significant savings. The average cost for a flood insurance policy is around $500 per year. ; Further, homeowners may qualify for a Preferred Risk Policy that covers both a structure and its contents for as little as $112 per year. Talk to your insurance agent to determine the appropriate level of protection you need and the money-saving options that are available.
    • Direct questions about flood policy coverage and rates to 1.800.427.4661
 
How can I learn more about the flood map modernization process and how it could affect me?
  Following is a list of resources and contact information to use should you have more questions regarding the National Flood insurance program, or NFIP.
Online Resources:

Other Resources:
Non-insurance questions:
Aiken County Planning and Development
Monday – Friday, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, 803.642.1518

 
What is a flood plain and how do I determine if my property is located in this area?
  A flood plain is the part of the land where water collects, pools and flows during the course of natural events. Such areas are classified as Special Flood Hazard Areas or SFHAs and are located in a 100-year flood plain. The term "100-year flood" is a little confusing. It is the flood elevation that has a 1 percent chance of being equaled or exceeded each year; it is not the flood that will occur once every 100 years. The likelihood of a flood occurring within a 100-year stretch of time is very high, but there's no way to predict when the next flood will occur or the one after that. The redrawn maps that indicate the floodplain as a "high-risk" area are officially classified as AE or A zones. Low to moderate risk areas will be designated as shaded X zones (500 year) and X on the remainder of the locality on the new maps.
 
What is the grandfathering rule, and how can it help me?
  The National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP has "grandfathering" rules to recognize policyholders who have built in compliance with the flood map in place at the time of construction or who maintain continuous coverage. These rules allow such policyholders to benefit in the premium rating for their buildings. However, property owners should always use the new map if it will provide them with a more favorable premium.
 
What are the benefits of the new flood hazard maps?
  The map modernization project will benefit numerous groups of people in different ways:

  • County planners and local officials will gain a greater understanding of the flood hazards and risks that affect Aiken County and can therefore improve local planning activities.
  • Engineers, surveyors, developers and builders will have access to more detailed information for making decisions, and can keep the cost of development down by using the information.
  • Insurance agents, insurance companies and lending institutions will have easy online access to updates and upcoming changes in order to serve their customers and community more efficiently.
  • Home and business owners will have the ability to make better financial decisions about protecting their properties.
  • Existing policies can be renewed
  • New policies can be written
  • VA and FHA mortgages remain available
  • Federal grants and loans remain available
  • Federal disaster relief remains available
 
Renewal of an Existing Policy
  When determining the premium you will pay for flood insurance, an insurance agent will rate your flood insurance policy based on the flood map that is in effect on the date you purchase your policy. Flood insurance policies may then be renewed and still be rated based on the flood map in effect when the policy was initially rated as long as the flood insurance coverage is continuous and the building has not been altered in a manner that would remove this benefit. For example, if the building on the property is now in an X zone, you could purchase the policy before the flood maps are adopted and keep the lower rate associated with the X zone even after the new flood maps become effective. You may even qualify for the lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy for the first year, which provides both building and contents coverage at significant savings. To help maintain this grandfathering benefit for the next owner, you may transfer the policy to them at the time of sale.

Renewal of an Existing Policy
When determining the premium you will pay for flood insurance, an insurance agent will rate your flood insurance policy based on the flood map that is in effect on the date you purchase your policy. Flood insurance policies may then be renewed and still be rated based on the flood map in effect when the policy was initially rated as long as the flood insurance coverage is continuous and the building has not been altered in a manner that would remove this benefit. For example, if the building on the property is now in an X zone, you could purchase the policy before the flood maps are adopted and keep the lower rate associated with the X zone even after the new flood maps become effective. ; You may even qualify for the lower-cost Preferred Risk Policy for the first year, which provides both building and contents coverage at significant savings. To help maintain this grandfathering benefit for the next owner, you may transfer the policy to them at the time of sale.

Built in Compliance ;
The National Flood Insurance Program or NFIP will honor a grandfather rule for buildings constructed after the first flood map for the community became effective in Aiken County on April 16, 1984 if the building:

  • was built in compliance with the flood map in effect at the time of construction,
  • has not been substantially damaged or altered.

Under this grandfather rule, the property owner must provide proper documentation to the insurance company.

  • If you wish to keep in effect the zone designation from when the structure was built, you must provide a copy of the flood map effective at the time of construction showing where the structure is located or present a letter from a community official verifying this information.
  • In general, for buildings constructed in high-risk zones after the community's first flood map was adopted, rates are based on the difference between the flood map's base flood elevation or BFE and building's elevation. If there is a change in the BFE and keeping the BFE that existed when the structure was first built gives you a better rate, you must provide the agent with an elevation certificate and a copy of the flood map effective at the time of construction
 
What will happen if my property is remapped from a low- or moderate-risk area to a high-risk area?
  If the new maps indicate the building on your property is now at a higher risk for flooding, you will be required to purchase a flood policy if you carry a mortgage from a federally regulated lender. If you do not have a mortgage, it is still recommended that you purchase flood insurance. If your building is redrawn into a high-risk area, there are lower-cost options available through the National Flood Insurance Program, or NFIP, "grandfathering" rule (see question No. 10).
 
Who is responsible for modernizing the maps?
  Currently, there is a nationwide collaborative effort across all levels of government to update the nation's flood hazard data and provide it in a detailed, digital format, in accordance with a multiyear plan created by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, or FEMA.
 
Why is Aiken County getting new flood hazard maps?
  Flood hazard maps, also known as Flood Insurance Rate Maps, or FIRMs, are important tools in the effort to protect structures in Aiken County. They indicate the risk for flooding throughout Aiken County. However, the current maps are out of date. Some formerly rural areas were never mapped, and other areas haven't been remapped in more than 28 years. Over time, water flow and drainage patterns have changed dramatically due to natural stream erosion, sedimentation, land use and natural forces. The riverine flooding has changed along with these factors.

New digital mapping techniques will provide more detailed, reliable and current data on Aiken County flood hazards. The result will be a better picture of the areas most likely to be impacted by flooding and a better foundation from which to make key decisions.
 
When and how is the budget adopted?
  The budget process usually begins in January and First Reading is around May. Council reviews and schedules budget hearings for people to express their concerns. Second Reading and Public Hearing are usually held at the same time. Once the budget meets the criteria of Council they will have Third Reading and approval. After the budget is approved the figures are carried to the new fiscal year which begins July 1st.
 
How would I obtain a Freedom of Information Act Request Form?
  You can download the form off of our website or you can call 803.642.2012 and one can be faxed to you. Forms are also located in the Administrator's Office, Suite 3100, on the third floor of the County Government Center at 1930 University Parkway in Aiken.
 
What is the General Fund?
  The general fund typically serves as the chief operating fund and is used to account for all financial resources except those required to be accounted for in another fund. The General fund contains revenues, such as property taxes, designated by law for a special purpose and providing general benefit to taxpayers.
 
Why aren't employee payroll checks included in the check register?
  All employees’ salaries are not public record; therefore no payroll registers are available for viewing. Under the Freedom of Information Act, some salaries can be obtained.
 
How often are checks issued?
  Once each week, usually on Fridays.
 
How many staff are employed by the county?
  Aiken County Government employs approximately 900 full and part-time people.
 
Are the checks listed on the check register all the checks Aiken County issues?
  The only checks listed are accounts payable checks written in the Finance Department. Other checks such as child support payments written by the Clerk of Court's Office and disbursements by the Treasurer's Office are not displayed.
 
Who authorizes the checks/payments?
  An extensive approval process is followed before receiving a purchase order for goods or services depending on the amount. Once finalized and the goods or services are received, the designee from the initiating department electronically receipts and approves invoice for payment. Additionally, all invoices are approved by Accounts Payable before payment.
 
How would I obtain certain documentation from various departments in the County?
  You would have to fill out a Freedom of Information Act Request Form which requires your name, address, phone number and documentation requested. The County has 15 business days to respond to your request.
 
Who do I call to arrange for garbage pickup?
  If you live in one of the cities, call the city for information about garbage pickup. The County does not provide garbage pickup in the unincorporated area of the County. You will have to call a private company to get garbage picked up at your house.

All County residents can use the County Recycling Drop-off Centers to dispose of their household garbage. Please click here for more info and the Center closest to you.
 
How do I find out if somebody is in jail?
  Call the Detention Center at 803.642.2040.
 
Landfills - Where are they located, Hours of Operation and Holiday closing schedule.
  Aiken County no longer operates a public MSW landfill. You may take your garbage and recyclables to one of the Residential Recycling Drop-Off Centers listed here.

Construction debris and yard vegetative debris (no trash), and furniture can be taken (7 AM to 5 PM Monday through Saturday) to the Barden C & D Landfill located at 411 Connector Road in Graniteville. The County's Wagener C & D Landfill accepts the same type of debris plus dead animals. The Wagener Landfill is located at 1769 Wagener Trail Road (Hwy 138) approximately 4.5 miles southwest of Wagener, and is open Wednesdays from 7:30 am until 5:00 pm.

Holiday closings for all drop-off centers and landfills are January 1st, Martin Luther King Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day. If you have any questions, contact the Solid Waste Division of the Public Works Department (803.642.1533).
 
I need a lawyer and can't afford one. Who can I call?
  Call SC Legal Services in Lexington at 1.888.346.5592 to see if you qualify for their services for non-criminal legal matters. Also, visit http://www.sclegal.org/
The Aiken County Public Defender's office handles criminal cases for those that qualify.
 
How do I report littering or illegal dumping?
  Call the Litter Buster Hotline at (toll-free) 877.754.8837 to report littering. Call 803.502.STOP to report illegal dumping.
 
Where can I get County maps?
  The Service Center (803.642.7592) has various County maps for sale. The Official County Road Map Atlas, which includes all Federal, State, and County roads (paved and dirt), is also available for sale for $25, or can be downloaded for free here.
 
Where do I go to get a marriage license?
  Marriage licenses are issued by the Probate Court 803.642.2002 at the Judicial Center, 109 Park Avenue in Aiken.
 
Can you help me apply for Medicare?
  The Social Security Administration handles Medicare eligibility and enrollment. You can visit their website at www.socialsecurity.gov for specific information.

See also Social Security's FAQ: When should I sign up for Medicare benefits? which explains the enrollment process.

The local Social Security Administration office is located at 151 Corporate Parkway SE in south Aiken, off Whiskey Road behind the National Guard Armory & South Aiken High School. Their phone numbers are 800.772.1213 and 803.648.2356, and they are open Monday-Friday 9am-4pm.
 
If I paid off my mortgage, when will I get a copy of my deed?
  In South Carolina, you must own the property before you can mortgage it. Most likely, you would receive a copy of a deed when property was purchased. The mortgage company is responsible for satisfying your mortgage.
 
My neighbor has a house which is falling down and his pool is full of green slime. Who do I call?
  Call the Planning & Development Department at 803.642.1518 to obtain a Nuisance Complaint form which must be filled out and signed by five residents living within 1000 feet of the nuisance. Return the form to Planning & Development for action.

For health concerns, call the Environmental Sanitation Division of DHEC at 803.642.1637.
 
Where are the County offices located?
  Please click here for a list of County locations, or click here to find the specific service you are interested in.
 
What days are County Offices closed?
  County Offices are closed on official holidays - New Year's Day, Martin Luther King's Birthday, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day and the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve and Christmas Day.
 
What are County office hours?
  County Offices are open from 8:30 am until 5:00 pm, Monday through Friday.
 
Are there any County parks?
  The County operates twenty-four parks located throughout the county. There are three manned parks which provide organized recreation. In addition, some parks are managed by volunteers, and they may offer organized softball.

Call the PRT Department at 803.642.7558 to find out the locations of parks and activities offered at each, or visit PRT's Website .
 
Where can I apply for a passport?
  You can search for the nearest passport acceptance facility by zip code on the Department of State's website.
More information about passports can be found on travel.state.gov.
 
Do I need to record a Power of Attorney?
  Power of Attorney does not have to be recorded in the RMC office. However, most banks, hospitals, investment firms, etc. require them to be recorded. Recording a Power of Attorney document ensures that in the event the original is lost, a certified copy is always available.
 
How can I do business with the County?
  Vendors must register with the Procurement Office by filling out the Vendor Application. The application is available here. Vendors will be notified of bid and proposal opportunities according to the Commodities marked on the Vendor Application. There is no limit to the number of commodities allowed for a vendor. Vendors are not required to respond to a bid invitation in order to stay on the vendor list. The vendor list is updated every two years.
 
What types of services and products are the County looking for?
  Aiken County Procurement does all bids, proposals, and purchase orders for County departments.

The items/services may vary from year to year, but some general categories are consistent. This includes, but is not limited to, the following: paving, roof repair/replacement, masonry, building construction/repair, auto/truck parts, engineering/surveying, architects, plumbing and electrical repair, construction equipment, cars and trucks, swimming pool repair, sand and gravel, instrumentation repair and calibration, chlorine, long distance service, telephone equipment, park equipment, computer equipment, networking equipment, fiber optic services, radio equipment, recycling equipment, microfilm services, office furniture, sale of recyclables.
 
How do I find out who owns a piece of property?
  The RMC Office records by the owner's name and legal description. If you do not have the owner's name, you can research the property in the Assessor's Office on the tax maps. By locating the piece of property on the tax map, a parcel number can be used to find the owner's name.
 
Recycling - What to recycle, Where to recycle and Holiday closing schedules.
  Aiken County no longer operates a public MSW landfill. You may take your garbage and recyclables to one of the Residential Recycling Drop-Off Centers listed here.

Citizens are requested to recycle cardboard, mixed paper (newspaper, junk mail, phone books, magazines, soft cover books, and hardbound books; No. 1 and 2 plastic bottles, aluminum cans, steel cans, wet cell batteries, scrap metal and appliances, vegetable oil, used oil, oil filters, oil bottles, and tires. Old MIXED FUEL may be taken to the Belvedere, Langley, or Reynolds Pond Drop-Off Centers and placed in the special (red) tank.

NO waxed paper, vinyl coated paper, plastic cards, or trash is to be placed in recycling containers. To do so is considered ILLEGAL DUMPING and subjects one to court appearance with possible fines and/or several hours of community service time.

Holiday closings for all drop-off centers and landfills are January 1st, Martin Luther King Day, Good Friday, Memorial Day, July 4th, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

If you have any questions, contact the Solid Waste Division of the Public Works Department (803.642.1533).
 
I have some paint/thinners/chemicals/ that need to be disposed of. Where can I take these?
  Please contact the Aiken County Solid Waste Division at 803.642.1533 for the proper procedures and locations to dispose of these hazardous wastes.
 
What Does RMC stand for?
  Register of Mesne Conveyance
 
What is the Register of Mesne Conveyance Office?
  The Register of Mesne Conveyance (RMC) office handles all of the recordings of real estate in Aiken County. All mortgages, deeds, and plats of property, easements, and rights of way are recorded in this office. Also recorded are the South Carolina tax liens, federal tax liens, mechanics liens, and UCC finance statements. A law firm, bank, mortgage company, or individual may record these documents. After recording, the documents are scanned and the image is permanently saved in the RMC records. These records are public information. The RMC Office also records Military DD-214 forms. To obtain a copy, you must present a valid identification before the information can be released.
 
How far back do the County's RMC (deeds, etc.) records go?
  Records in the Aiken County RMC Office date back to 1872 and are public information.
 
Is the information in the RMC Office online?
  In 2005 the RMC Office implemented a document indexing and imaging system. Deeds and other real estate documents are scanned and available for viewing immediately. The online index starts from 1982 and can be searched for and viewed in the eGov section of our website.
 
Do I have to come to the office to receive copies of the RMC records?
  You do not have to come into the office to receive copies of the RMC records; however, you must send a written request and $5.00 to receive the copies.
 
My road needs scraping. Who do I call?
  Roads are scraped approximately every six weeks. If your road needs attention, call the Public Works Department, Road and Bridges Division at 803.642.1532.
 
Who fixes potholes on roads?
  It depends if the road is a state road, a city road, or a County road.

State roads can be identified by black signs at the intersection (S-2-xxx). Call the SC DOT Highway Maintenance Department at 803.641.7665 to request repairs on a state road.

If you live in a city and the road is not a state road, call that city's Public Works Department.

If you live in the County and the road is not a State road, call the County Roads and Bridges Division at 803.642.1532.
 
What is the Senior Tax Work-off Program?
  This program allows citizens 60 years or older to work for Aiken County Departments to earn an amount equal to the Aiken County portion of their property taxes on their personal residence (school taxes are not included). This program applies only to the taxes on residential properties and does not apply to commercial properties. Please call the County Administrator's Office at 803.642.2012 to obtain more information or an application to participate in the program. You may Apply Online, or you may Download the Application and mail it.
 
How do I dispute my Stormwater fee?
  Please see information regarding the Stormwater Appeal Process.
 
Is the Stormwater Fee considered a tax?
  No, the stormwater fee is not a tax. It is a fee generated to finance the County's Stormwater Program, which is tasked with the responsibility of minimizing or eliminating pollutants from the County stormwater system.
 
I live at the top of a hill. Alternatively, I live at the bottom of a hill and everyone else’s storm water runoff impacts my property. Why do I have to pay the storm water fee?
  Water quality affects all residents in Aiken County and therefore, all property owners must pay their fair share of the costs to keep the rivers, lakes, and streams clean
 
Am I still charged the stormwater fee even if it does not rain for a long time?
  Yes. The pollution potential is actually much greater when it has not rained in a long time because pollutants can build up on all impervious surfaces. In any storm, the initial runoff, or first flush, is the most contaminated. Contrary to what some people believe, stormwater charges are not based upon rainfall. Costs are incurred to reduce pollution. Rainwater is simply the carrier that transports the pollutants to open waterways.
 
Hasn't the county always had storm drains? Nothing has changed at my home or business. Why am I being charged now when I wasn't several years ago?
  Yes, the County has had storm drains for a long time. However, the federal regulations that require a comprehensive stormwater quality management program are new. The stormwater fee enables the County to meet its responsibility of instituting programs designed to remove and/or eliminate pollutants from the stormwater system before they can contaminate our lakes and streams.
 
What is a catch basin?
  A catch basin is a curbside, box-like receptacle that collects storm water runoff from the street and empties into the underground storm drain pipe which carries the runoff to our lakes and streams.
 
Do catch basins and storm drains get cleaned out?
  Yes, currently the County cleans catch basins and storm drains as needed. Under the new stormwater program a regular maintenance schedule will be developed as part of the County’s permit requirement, to insure the stormwater discharges meet SCDHEC quality guidelines.
 
I have seen catch basin labels. How do I get a label for a catch basin near me?
  The County is developing a program to label catch basins. This program will allow civic groups and individuals to label storm drains in their neighborhoods or other areas of concern. If you are interested in helping with this effort please contact the Aiken County Stormwater Manager.
 
How is the Stormwater Fee billed?
  The Stormwater Fee is billed in conjunction with yearly real property tax notices. The Stormwater Fee will appear on your real property tax bill and will be collected by the County Treasurer with your property taxes.
 
What Are the Effects of Stormwater Pollution?
 
  • Health: ; Stormwater pollution poses a serious health risk to people swimming or fishing in contaminated waters.
  • Environment: Countless plants and animals can become sick or die from contact with stormwater pollution.
 
What is the ultimate goal of NPDES permitting?
  The goal of NPDES permitting is to improve and protect the quality of our nation’s waterways by eliminating pollution from stormwater runoff to the maximum extent practicable.
 
What kinds of pollutants are sometimes found in stormwater runoff?
  Paint thinner and paint products, motor oil, pesticides, Styrofoam cups, paper, human and animal feces, antifreeze, dirty diapers and dead animals are but a few of the possible pollutants found in stormwater runoff.
 
What is the County doing about illegal discharges into the storm drains?
  The County is developing an ordinance that will address illicit discharges. Enforcement of this ordinance is required as part of the NPDES permit requirements. County officials will be authorized to cite any person or persons caught discharging any illicit materials into a storm drain or waterbody.
 
What can a resident do when they notice a stormwater impact?
  The County Stormwater Manager is on hand to take calls or emails reporting stormwater impacts between the hours of 7:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. During non-business hours, calls can be made to the Sheriff's Office who will contact the Stormwater Manager to respond to the report.
 
Here are some things home owners can do to help prevent water pollution:
 
  • Water your lawn only as needed
  • Use pesticides and fertilizers sparingly – use organic mulch or safer pest control whenever possible
  • Compost or mulch yard waste
  • Cover piles of dirt or mulch used in landscaping
  • Inspect your septic system every 3 years and pump your tank every 3 to 5 years
  • Dispose of household hazardous waste responsibly (avoid sinks or toilets)
  • Wash your car on your lawn so the water infiltrates into the ground
  • Repair leaks and dispose of used auto fluids and batteries at designated drop off or recycling locations
  • Pick up pet waste and dispose of it properly. Flushing is best.
 
Who do I contact if I have questions about Stormwater Management?
 
For questions, please contact the Aiken County Stormwater Manager:
By phone: 803.642.1535
By email: shutson@aikencountysc.gov
By mail:
Engineering - Stormwater Division
Attn: Scottie Hutson, Stormwater Manager
1930 University Parkway, Suite 3300
Aiken, SC 29801
 
Are sewers and storm drains the same thing?
  No. They are two separate systems. Wastewater from homes, industry, etc. travels through the sanitary sewer system where it is treated at sewage treatment plants before reuse or discharge into the streams. Runoff from streets, parking lots, yards, etc. enters the storm drain system, receives no treatment, and flows directly to our lakes and streams.
 
What is an ERU?
  An ERU (Equivalent Residential Unit) is the average size of a residential home in Aiken County.
 
What happens if the County does nothing or refuses to comply with the permit?
  Should the County choose not to comply with the permit, SCDHEC and/or the EPA may issue penalties for willful non-compliance that can reach up to $75,000 per day with each day a separate offense or imprisonment, or both.
 
What is a Stormwater Fee?
  The Stormwater Fee is a fee generated to finance Aiken County’s efforts to first remove and/or eliminate pollutants from the stormwater system before they are able to contaminate our lakes and streams and second meet the guidelines set forth by the EPA and SCDHEC.
 
What is an impervious surface?
  Impervious surface means those improved, harder-surfaced areas that either prevent or inhibit the natural entry of water into the soil. Rooftops, buildings, streets, parking lots, sidewalks, asphalt, concrete, other paving, driveways, gravel, patios, artificial turf and storage areas are all examples of impervious surfaces.
 
What is the NPDES permit?
 

NPDES stands for National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System, which is the compliance system for the Clean Water Act. The NPDES permit requires municipalities, like Aiken County, that discharge storm water to the waters of the United States meet minimum federal water quality requirements trough the implementation of six minimum control measures. The six minimum control measures that Aiken County must adhere to are outlined below.
1. Public Education and Outreach
Distribute educational materials and perform outreach to inform citizens about the impacts polluted stormwater runoff discharges can have on water quality.
2. Public Participation/Involvement
Provide opportunities for citizens to participate in program development and implementation.
3. Illicit Discharge Detection and Elimination
Develop, implement, and enforce a program to detect and eliminate illicit discharges to the storm sewer system (includes developing a system map and informing the community about hazards associated with illegal discharges and improper disposal of waste).
4. Construction Site Runoff Control
Develop, implement, and enforce an erosion and sediment control program for construction activities.
5. Post-Construction Runoff Control
Develop, implement, and enforce a program to address discharges of post-construction stormwater runoff from new development and redevelopment areas.
6. Pollution Prevention/Good Housekeeping
Develop and implement a program with the goal of preventing or reducing pollutant runoff from municipal operations. The program must include municipal staff training on pollution prevention measures and techniques (e.g., regular street sweeping, reduction in the use of pesticides, or frequent catch-basin cleaning).

 
What is Stormwater?
  Stormwater runoff is the most common cause of water pollution. It occurs when rainwater runs off buildings, driveways, roads, sidewalks, and lawns, and as it flows, it collects pollutants such as animal waste, trash sediment, chemicals, grease, and oils and transports them to the municipal storm system which ultimately leads to local rivers and streams without treatment.
 
How are Stormwater fees determined?
  Residential, agricultural, and commercial parcels with improvements are billed $24 annually. Manufacturing properties are charged based on a the commonly accepted rate for stormwater fees know as the Equivalent Residential Unit (ERU). This is a descriptive value based on the property's size and the amount of solid surfaces on it, such as parking lots.
 
How do I transfer a tag (license plate)?
  The transfer of a license plate is handled through the State's Department of Motor Vehicles (SCDMV). A visit to the County's Auditor's office is not needed when a license plate is being transferred. There are certain requirements in ownership and weight of the vehicle that the plate is being transferred from and also the vehicle it will be transferred onto. Contacting one of the local SCDMV would be advisable prior to their visit.

SCDMV locations in Aiken County:

Aiken
North Augusta
 
I have paid a tax lien, but it is still on my credit report. Will you take it off, or write a letter that it is paid?
  The RMC office records the original tax liens and satisfies and / or releases them upon notification from SC Department of Revenue or Internal Revenue Services (IRS). The credit reporting agencies gather the information once the liens are recorded, but only rarely do you ever pickup when the lien is satisfied or released. If the tax lien has been satisfied and/or released, you may obtain a copy and send it to the credit reporting agencies and ask that the liens be removed from your credit report.
 
I did not get a tax bill. Who do I call?
  Please call the Auditor's Office at 803.642.1510.
 
I think my property taxes are too high. What causes this?
  Please click here for more information about taxes in Aiken County.
 
How do I register my vehicle?
  Bring your title or old car registration form to the Auditor's Office. The Auditor's Office will issue you a tax bill, which must be paid in the Treasurer's Office in the same building.

Take your paid tax receipt and title or car registration to the SC Division of Motor Vehicles at 1755 Richland Avenue East in Aiken or 1913 Ascauga Lake Road in North Augusta to complete the registration and obtain your tag.

For questions concerning vehicle registration, contact the SC DMV at 800.442.1368 or visit their website at www.scdmv.org.
 
How do I know if my vehicle qualifies for a high mileage discount?
  We have a chart provided to us by the Department of Revenue for mileage adjustments. You can contact the Auditors office by calling 803.642.1510 or e-mail auditor@aikencountysc.gov and give us your mileage and year of your vehicle to find out if you are eligible.
 
Where do I register to vote?
  The voter registration/election office (803.642.2030) is located in Suite 1200 of the Aiken County Government Center at 1930 University Parkway in Aiken.
 
Who provides water in my area?
  The County has no control over water providers in the county. Check with your next door neighbor to see who is the water provider. Please click here for a list of the public water providers in Aiken County.
 
I have a problem with this website. What can I do?
  Email the Aiken County Government Webmaster at webmanager@aikencountysc.gov.
 
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