Soil & Water Conservation

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Services provided by Soil & Water Conservation

  • Technical Assistance (advice and/or planning) on erosion control and water quality issues. Clients are served through visits to our office, phone consultations, and site visits. Agronomists, engineers, soil scientists, and other specialists from a number of local, state, and federal agencies work closely with the District staff to serve our client’s needs. Some of the areas the District assists with are:
    • Soil Erosion
    • Animal Waste Management
    • Stream Bank Stabilization
    • Pond Site Assessments
    • Sedimentation
    • Nutrient Management
    • Plants for Erosion Control
    • Storm Water Control
    • Spring Development
    • Riparian Restoration
    • Private Access Road Layout
    • Urban Erosion Control
  • Equipment Available For Rent
    • Weed Wiper - The weed wiper can be used to control invasive weeds and small brushy growth in hay and pasture fields, resulting in better stands of grass and higher productivity.  The wiper can be towed to the farm using a pickup or SUV then attached to a tractor or ATV for use in the field.   Herbicides are pumped from the holding tank and applied using a rotating roller.  This application method uses very little herbicide resulting in lower costs for weed control.  The unit  is 12 feet wide, which will result in fairly quick coverage of a field. — Funded by: TVA Ag & Forestry Fund; NCDA & CS; WNC Communities.
    • Seed Drill - The seed drill was provided to the District, by the NC Foundation for Soil & Water Conservation through a Grant from The NC Tobacco Trust Fund, it has been used by many farms in the area to renovate pasture and hay land.
    • Post-Driver - The post driver can be used to improve existing fencing, expand pastures, and add cross fencing for rotations and will reduce labor costs and improve profitability.  The post driver is capable of driving up to eight inch diameter posts and will have a pilot auger to use in adverse ground conditions. Must bring tractor to pick-up site to attach post driver for hauling. — Funded by: TVA Ag & Forestry Fund; NCDA & CS; WNC Communities.
    • Prior to pickup of the weed wiper, seed drill, or post driver, proof of insurance on the towing vehicle, a a valid North Carolina drivers license, and the rental agreement must be provided to the Soil and Water Conservation District office at 155 Hilliard Avenue, Suite 204, Asheville NC 28801 or fax to 828-251-4908.
    • All equipment must be reserved through the Buncombe SWCD office at 828-250-4785.
  • Educational Programs such as:
  • Administer or help to administer State, Federal, and local conservation programs such as:
    • North Carolina Agriculture Cost Share Program – provides a 75% cost share to persons who install water quality improvement projects on agricultural lands. The District has two full-time staff working with this program and receives an average annual allocation of $120,000 for cost share with farmers. (
    • Agricultural Water Resources Assistance Program (AgWRAP) ( )
      The purposes of the program are to:
      • Identify opportunities to increase water use efficiency, availability and storage
      • Implement best management practices (BMPs) to conserve and protect water resources
      • Increase water use efficiency
      • Increase water storage and availability for agricultural purposes
    • Environmental Quality Incentives Program (EQIP) – a federal program that provides cost share for a variety of water quality conservation practices.
    • Buncombe County Voluntary Farmland Preservation Program – a local government program that allows farmers to voluntarily enroll their farm property in an agricultural district. The purpose of the program is to slow the decline of farmlands in the county and offer operators of farms some protection from encroachment of development.
  • Soils data for Buncombe County. Aerial photos, map unit descriptions, soil series descriptions, and soils series interpretations are available from an unpublished 1975 soil survey. The county is currently being mapped and the above information is available on the areas that have been mapped.

Community Conservation Assistance Program

"What is CCAP? A voluntary, incentive-based program designed to improve water quality through the installation of various best management practices (BMPs) on urban, suburban and rural lands, not directly involved in agricultural production. CCAP consists of educational, technical and financial assistance provided to landowners by local soil and water conservation districts." (from )

For more information, check out their website.

CCAP Website

Information available for viewing in the District office

  • National Wetland Inventory Maps (1995)
  • Aerial Photos – 1951, 1963, 1975, 1982, 1988
  • U. S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Flood Hazard Maps
  • U.S.G.S, 7.5 minute topographic maps of Buncombe County

To learn more about the departments within Soil & Water Conservation, select a topic from the list on the left.